Without being able to take their fight to the floor, Cris "Cyborg" had no choice but to bang it out on the feet against a bigger and more skilled opponent. The results speak for themselves.
Welp, this could put a damper on those UFC plans.
Former Strikeforce featherweight champion and reigning Invicta FC 145-pound queenpin Cristiane Justino won't be adding another division title to her trophy case, thanks to a unanimous decision loss (49-45, 48-45, 49-44) to Jorina Baars last night (Fri., March 28, 2014) in the co-main event of Lion Fights 14, which took place inside "The Joint" at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Their Muay Thai welterweight title fight aired live on AXS-TV.
"Cyborg" -- who hasn't competed in a mixed martial arts (MMA) bout since last July -- dominated French Muay Thai champion Jennifer Colomb under the Lion Fight banner in late 2013 (recap), but was unable to overcome the reach -- and superior skill -- of Baars.
A few of the rounds were close, but she couldn't land the knockout punch.
It also didn't help that Justino was on queer street in the opening frame and had a difficult time adjusting to her opponent's kicks and punishing knees. Credit goes to the Brazilian, however, for taking some incredibly hard shots and continuing to soldier on. It wasn't a bad performance, but she was clearly outmatched.
Technique trumped power on this night in "Sin City."
But will a loss outside of MMA do anything to hurt her chances of crossing over to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)? It's hard to say, but you can expect UFC President Dana White to reference this night in future media scrums, when asked about a potential fight against UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
Who has already has a full plate.
Despite making provisions for other 145-pound imports, the undefeated Olympian has been non-committal on facing the Brazilian. So too, has UFC President Dana White, who tried to make it happen for UFC 157 -- but couldn't -- and has since decided that "Cyborg" must first prove herself as a bantamweight.
Now, it may not even matter.