UFC title shot for ‘Cyborg’ seems to be elusive after victories

Cris “Cyborg” Justino has now delivered two dominant performances culminating in brutal knockout victories in her two UFC appearances.

Yet a title in the organization appears to be little more than a pipe dream at this point.

Both of Justino’s fights have been booked at a catchweight of 140 pounds, including Saturday night’s second-round knockout victory over Lina Lansberg in the main event of UFC Fight Night 95 in Brasilia, Brazil.

Justino, the former Strikeforce and current Invicta champion, has endured difficult weight cuts even to 145 pounds for much of her career and insists it would be physically impossible for her to get down to 135 pounds in order to compete in the UFC’s largest weight class for women.

Several behind-the-scenes videos have documented some particularly brutal moments from her weight cuts over the last two fight weeks but there has been no indication the UFC will add a women’s featherweight division, so Justino is left in a bit of limbo.

“I’m really happy with the result,” she said during the post-fight news conference. “I had a hard time losing weight during my camp. It was hard, but everything went right. I don’t rule out fighting in catchweights (going forward). I have two belts at home and I don’t aim to win another one. I want superfights to make history.

“But I’m thinking about my vacation now.”

Then it’s back to the drawing board to figure out what’s next for her in the UFC if she doesn’t return to Invicta to defend her belt.

Justino, 31, would prefer to fight one of the UFC’s bantamweight stars, but knows that will require one of them coming up to meet a feared striker who will be the much larger fighter once she rehydrates on fight night.

She just hopes one of them decides to take the challenge.

“I never choose opponents,” she said. “I always train and wait for them to choose for me. To fight against a top 10, I won’t cut down to 135 and they won’t want to fight at 145, so I will cry to make 140 and they will eat some pizza to make 140 and we put on a fight for the fans.”

She is still holding out hope for the opportunity to one day fight former bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, a bout UFC president Dana White once predicted would be the biggest selling pay-per-view event in history.

“Who knows, maybe we’ll do the fight that everybody wants with Ronda,” Justino said.

MAGOMEDOV FLAGGED — Heavyweight Ruslan Magomedov is the latest fighter to be notified of a potential violation of the UFC’s anti-doping policy by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, the organization announced on Monday.

An out-of-competition sample collected on Sept. 7 was flagged by USADA, which independently administers the UFC’s drug-testing program. No details were made available as to the nature of the violation. Under the program, USADA doesn’t reveal that information until the matter is adjudicated unless the fighter chooses to do so publicly.

Magomedov, 29, announced on Sept. 9 he was pulling out of a scheduled Oct. 8 fight against Stefan Struve due to a staph infection.

The Russian striker is 14-1 as a professional and has won all three fights since signing with the UFC. He has won nine straight bouts and is coming off a unanimous decision win over Shawn Jordan in October 2015.

GUSTAFSSON TO SAO PAULO — UFC officials used the occasion of Saturday’s fight card in Brazil to announce the headlining bout for the organization’s return to the nation Nov. 19. Light heavyweight contender Alexander Gustafsson will fight Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the main event of UFC Fight Night 100 in Sao Paulo.

The bout was announced during the broadcast of UFC Fight Night 95 on Fox Sports 1.

Gustafsson had dropped three of four fights, including two championship bouts, before returning from nearly a year away from competition to defeat Jan Blachowicz by unanimous decision earlier this month. Nogueira snapped a two-fight losing streak with a first-round knockout of Patrick Cummins in May.

UFC 205 CARD UNVEILED — With the UFC’s first event in New York set for Madison Square Garden in less than two months, the organization will unveil the full card for UFC 205 on Tuesday at the world’s most famous arena.

A 3 p.m. news conference is scheduled on Tuesday to formally announce the lineup for the Nov. 12 event. It will be streamed live at ufc.com.

Several bouts have already been confirmed, including a women’s strawweight title bout between Karolina Kowalkiewicz and champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and a welterweight bout pitting Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone against Kelvin Gastelum.

Las Vegan Miesha Tate, the former women’s bantamweight champion, will also be in action against Raquel Pennington.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509. Follow on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj

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