UFC 214 Best Bet: Cyborg Invasion

Cris Cyborg

Jason Lake

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 7:02 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jul. 25, 2017 7:02 PM GMT

Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino is the biggest favorite on the UFC odds board for Saturday’s big pay-per-view in Anaheim. Is she worth the chalk, or is Tonya Evinger the right pick?

The UFC is about to get the champion it wanted. This Saturday, Cristiane “Cyborg” Justiano will face Tonya Evinger for the vacant Women’s Featherweight title at UFC 214, and it’s pretty much a given that Cyborg will walk away with the belt. She’s the biggest favorite on Saturday’s card as we go to press, checking in as high as –1340 on the UFC odds board. Assuming all goes according to plan, Cyborg will dominate the Women’s Featherweight division for years to come. It was created for her, wasn’t it?

Make no mistake: Cyborg (17-1, 1 NC lifetime, 2-0 UFC) is no Ronda Rousey. She’s not going to move the same kind of merchandise, but Cyborg is a much more credible villain. She first rose to infamy in 2009 by soundly beating Gina Carano for the Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight strap – the first time two women had ever main-evented a major MMA show. Then Cyborg was stripped of the title in 2011 after testing positive for stanozolol. Boo that woman.

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UFC 214: Tonya Evinger getting the fight she knew she deserved vs Cris Cyborg https://t.co/wlxUIB0rrf @FanSided pic.twitter.com/5cv6gVlTjt

— Chris Headrick (@ChrisMHeadrick) July 13, 2017
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Don’t Lose Your Head

After laying low for a while, Cyborg ended up in Invicta FC and won their inaugural Featherweight title in 2013 – basically a dress rehearsal for what’s in store this Saturday. Problem is, fighters are less interested these days in getting their heads caved in by jacked-up opponents. The first UFC Women’s Featherweight champion, Germaine de Randamie, refused to fight Cyborg and had her belt taken away. Reigning Invicta FC Featherweight champ Megan Anderson was named as the replacement, but she backed out on June 27 for personal reasons. Nobody will fight me!

That leaves us with Evinger (19-5, 1 NC lifetime), who also happens to be the Invicta FC Bantamweight champion. This is going to be Evinger’s first official fight at 145 pounds, but she’s also fought at a catchweight of 140 pounds – including a first-round tap-out to Carano at an EliteXC event in 2007 – and Evinger was already moving up to Featherweight to face Helena Kolesnyk, which was supposed to happen on July 15 before the plans were changed.There are no deadbolt locks when you make UFC picks, but Cyborg is about as locked-in as it gets. The only question is whether we can find something a little less chalky on the props market. Cyborg has won each of her last seven fights by KO/TKO, five of those inside the first round. Evinger’s only gone to the judges’ score cards five times in her long career. Let’s go with Saturday’s fight not making it to Round 3. And who knows; maybe Cyborg will gas herself out early and Evinger will spoil everyone’s plans. Everyone except us, of course.

Free Pick: Fight won’t start Round 3 (–403)
Best Line: at 5Dimes

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