Many years ago, Strikeforce was putting together the superfight of Gina Carano and Cris Cyborg, and they came to New York City and held a press conference at Madison Square Garden. This was before the age of Ronda Rousey and the explosion of female MMA’s popularity, so fan turnout wasn’t massive. But there were fans there, and when it came time for the fans and press to ask questions of Carano and Cyborg, all of them ignored the Brazilian. One of Strikeforce’s PR staff leaned in close to me, handed me a microphone and said, “Could you ask Cyborg something?” He didn’t want her to feel left out.
(Of course I had questions for her, so I did.)
Fast-forward to now. Cyborg is fighting for the UFC featherweight belt at UFC 214 this Saturday, and the passage of time – and all the ass-kicking she’s done – has certainly made her a star.
You get an inkling of that in the Embedded episode below. And it’s awesome to see. She’s worked hard, she’s talented – she deserves it.