After all the hype, most agreed that the much anticipated bout between UFC star Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather was an unedifying affair, but it has not dampened interest in potential crossovers from MMA to boxing.
The latest UFC star looking to make the transition is one of the top female fighters in the sport’s history, and now that she has been granted a boxing license by the California State Athletic Commission, fans and gamblers are eagerly awaiting her first matchup.
UFC and the online casino culture
Not so long ago, few people had heard of the UFC, let alone Cris “Cyborg” Justino, yet today, the UFC is one of the biggest draws in the martial arts stable. A clue to its meteoric rise to fame lies in its origins. It is no coincidence that the UFC is based in Las Vegas, and its growth has gone hand in hand with the rising popularity of online sports betting.
This popularity has, in turn, spread like wildfire to the UK, which is broadly accepted as the global home of online gambling. The best online casino sites like https://www.toplivecasino.co.uk/play-live-blackjack/ offer the Vegas experience with live blackjack and other traditional casino games, but also provide a link to the closely related world of sports betting.
While the UFC is quickly becoming as popular in the UK as it is in the States, a fact demonstrated by the speed at which tickets for the last UK based event at London’s O2 arena sold out, boxing is still seen as the pinnacle combat sport, and gamblers will be eager to find out who will be up against Cyborg in her first bout.
Who, when and where?
Cyborg is currently negotiating a new deal with the UFC, as her current contract expires next month, so she has a number of pieces to fit together. With that in mind, it seems probable that she will not get the opportunity to step into the boxing ring before 2018, particularly as there is the small matter of a UFC bantamweight title defense to prepare for. Cyborg is set to face Holly Holm in Las Vegas on 30 December, a fighter who, coincidentally, made the transition in the opposite direction from boxing to UFC in 2011.
In recent interviews, Cyborg has refused to be drawn on potential opponents. One thing we do know is that she is already taking preparations seriously, having been sparring with former Olympic champion Claressa Shields, and she feels that this preparation will give her a better chance of success than McGregor. She said: “McGregor has not been a boxer his entire life. When you’re sparring with someone that is not from boxing it’s more difficult.”
Whoever her opponent turns out to be, she would be well advised to take the challenge a little more seriously than Floyd Mayweather was widely reported to have done. Cyborg is known to be one of the UFC’s hardest hitters, male or female, and is not an opponent that anyone can take lightly.