Female MMA star Cris Cyborg tasted defeat last night when she took on the undefeated Jorina Baars in a Muay Thai bout at Lion Fights 14.
Baars came into the contest with an impressive 35-0-3 record and a number of titles to her name, while Cyborg was undertaking only her second professional Muay Thai bout, and it quickly showed.
Cyborg attempted to engage her usual pressure-heavy, brawling style from the opening bell, but found herself being greeted by effective offense from range by the much taller Baars who rocked her both with a front kick to the face and a head kick in that opening five minute spell.
All credit to Cyborg though who showed she has an excellent chin and didn’t deviate from her aggressive game plan over the course of the five round fight, coming back with a solid showing in the final two rounds in particular despite having been floored again by a knee to the face in the third round (which wasn’t counted as a knockdown).
Baars always looked to be a step ahead though and technique triumphed over tenacity as she claimed a decisive unanimous decision victory (49-45, 48-45, 49-44).
If it had been an MMA bout the result would probably have been a lot different. Despite her impressive Muay Thai credentials, Baars has a very poor MMA record, no doubt due to a lack of ground skills, with just one victory in four professional fights.
It was clear that Cyborg had a strength advantage and would likely have had a good deal of success on the mat, but really it’s her striking skills that have been her biggest calling card over the years and Baars showed last night that there’s a lot of holes in her game in that regard.
It’ll be interesting to see how Dana White reacts to all this. Given that this fight was in a different sport and there was a vast experience gap between them this shouldn’t affect Cyborg’s chances of getting into the UFC too much, but White’s already less than enthusiastic about signing up the former Strikeforce champion and this might give him another excuse not to welcome her into the promotion.
Watch the full Cyborg Vs Baars fight below.