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Why Cris Cyborg doesn’t like to consider herself the GOAT of women’s MMA

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Bellator women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg is hesitant to call herself the greatest of all time.

Cyborg, also a former UFC, Invicta FC, and Strikeforce champ, doesn’t like to consider herself the GOAT of women’s MMA despite having the career accolades to make a solid claim. It’s not because Cyborg (23-2 MMA, 2-0 BMMA) doesn’t think she belongs among the best fighters in women’s MMA history, but more on what the thinking could do to her approach to fighting.

“I’ve always heard people say that, but I never gave it much attention,” Cyborg told Super Lutas in Portuguese. “I always think that I need to improve. I’m very hard on myself. In all my training sessions, I try to do my best.

“I believe that, when you think you’re the best of all time, you stop learning. So I always kept that out of my mind, because I still want to learn much more.”

Cyborg lost her professional debut on May 17, 2005. After that, however, she wouldn’t lose again until Dec. 29, 2018 at UFC 232, where she was knocked out by Amanda Nunes. Cyborg has since returned to her winning ways and is on a three-fight streak.

Although Cyborg might not recognize herself as the GOAT, she does think she’s a pioneer of women’s MMA along with many others.

“Many women did a lot for the sport,” Cyborg said. “Me, Gina Carano, Amanda Nunes, who has won two belts. I think many women are part of this. Before me, other women were already fighting: Ana Marina India, Carina Damm, Carmem ‘Casca Grossa’. All the girls who are fighting now, they are building it, too. You can’t name one. We are all achieving the same, which is making WMMA grow.”

Cyborg last fought in October when she choked out Arlene Blencowe in the main event of Bellator 249. It was her first successful Bellator title defense and her first career victory by submission.

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