Cristiane Justino Venâncio, better known by her ring name Cris Cyborg, is a unique woman with a monstrously pumped featherweight physique. She is known for her aggressive strikes and nimble fighting style.
Now with the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship, Las Vegas, Nevada) Cyborg has been active in mixed martial arts since 2005. She holds a black belt in Muay Thai and a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu but she draws from wrestling techniques too.
Besides astonishing reserves of power, Cyborg in noteworthy for her flawless execution of kickboxing moves combined with unparalleled stamina and tenacity. All her challengers know that a fight with Cris means pain. She’s won the majority of her fights and for that reason, fellow female battlers are often nervous to face her.
Her sterling record featuring bouts against Shayna Baszler, Yoko Takahashi, Gina Carano, Jan Finney, and many more. Under her championship belt Cyborg counts 23 wins, 17 TKOs, and just 2 losses.
This outstanding career was severely tarnished by doping scandals which continue to this day. In January 2012 Stanozolol (an anabolic steroid) was detected in Cris Cyborg’s system and her previous Strikeforce win was declared a no-contest. She was also fined US$2,500 and had her license briefly revoked.
After this, people simply couldn’t believe that the Brazilian American’s muscles were ever natural. One “accident” and her popularity was severely overshadowed.
A Brief Biography of Cris Cyborg
Cyborg was born on the 9th of July in Curitiba, Paraná, in Brazil. She has been a naturalized American since 2016. Cyborg, who takes her nickname from her ex-husband Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos, fell in MMA rather serendipitously. During a handball championship game at high-school level, Rudimar Fedrigo of the Chute Boxe Academy came up to her and encouraged her to start fighting. He stated that he was impressed by her athleticism and agility — both important traits in fighters.
Her first US fight was an aired in 2008 on TV, EliteXC Saturday Night Fight special. She won and exploded onto the scene with vigor. Her US campaign was cut short four years later after testing positive to anabolic steroids. The California State Athletic Commission declared her anabolic positive; she was stripped of her hard-won World Title.
Did Cyborg Stop Taking Steroids After the Scandal?
Much as been written comparing Cyborg’s story with José Bautista’s steroid situation. We won’t rehash old ground here but we will note that as recent as 2016 Cyborg tested positive once again in an extra-curricular fight. This time the drug was Spironolactone, a diuretic as she was keen to point out in her official statement. Cyborg continued that the med was prescribed by her doctor and was to be imbibed for a 90-day period.
While it’s true that this med is used for the reasons Cyborg claimed, it is also a steroid utilized by bodybuilders and female bodybuilders in particular. It’s more commonly known as Aldactone and it’s used in cutting and shredding cycles allowing users to “dry out.”
However, around the same time, Cyborg started turning down big name matches. Why? If she was clean apart from a prescribed drug, it’s questionable her motives were to hide ongoing anabolic use. As reported in the Washington Post, Cyborg turned down UFC fights with Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey; a woman who has always egged Cyborg on with taunts about her 145 lbs fighting weight, noting that Cyborg is that heavy because of ‘roids.
UFC’s President, Dana White, called Cyborg’s decision to turn down fights in her own featherweight category “strange.”
We, like millions of fans, detect an anabolic cat among the pigeons.
Ongoing Steroids: If Cyborg Getting Masculinized?
There are some pertinent and telltale features to Cris Cyborg’s appearance which makes people think that she uses steroids regularly. These include:
- A deep, low voice which is in stark comparison to how she sounded back in 2007/2008.
- Americanization of her Portuguese tinged accent or something more?
- Some former fans have pointed out that she now has a bigger head in comparison with photos from her youth.
- Strange, seemingly unbalanced body shape. Loads of muscle stacking in her upper half and arms but not as much going on down below. Or did she just forget leg day?
- An increasingly mannish face, characterized by a strong jaw.
- Aggressive behavior (a sign of excess testosterone).
Of importance here is that we note these are not strictly our observations but notes we’ve pulled from online forums and discussion groups. We possess no evidence that Cris Cyborg is an ongoing anabolic steroid user. We’ll leave that verdict up to the pros at the USADA.
No Proof No Problem?
At the time of writing (2019) Cyborg’s last fights were in 2018. These were UFC featherweight fights against Amanda Nunes (Cyborg lost) and the Russian bantamweight Yana “Foxy” Kunitskaya (Cyborg won). Cyborg hasn’t completed any UFC fights in 2019 yet. That she was in these battles points to her being clean of anabolics, a fact that has cheered her many worldwide fans, especially in her homeland.
Overall, some of the complex circumstances point to Cyborg’s innocence but at the end of the day, self-use of a forbidden drug without medical input is a violation, one which Cyborg was definitely guilty of. However, as it often goes, after her results were published, the perceived “best” way to save her reputation was to deny everything.
Some hardcore fans argue that her doctor may have stitched her up and falsely reported the results to the governing body. This theory, although exotic and compelling, relies on a scheming and evil doctor, hellbent on destroying Cyborg’s career. Likely? We don’t think so.
Cris is a real fighter. Whichever side of the steroids debate you sit on, you have to grant her with incredible willpower and strength which has allowed her to remain among the best in her rank well into her 30s.