Mixed martial arts career
Cyborg made her anticipated United States MMA debut on July 26, 2008 against Shayna Baszler at EliteXC: Unfinished Business. She won the fight by TKO in the second round.
Cristiane faced Yoko Takahashi on October 4, 2008 at EliteXC: Heat. She won the fight by unanimous decision.
Justino was scheduled to face Dutch submission specialist Marloes Coenen at XMMA 7 on February 27, 2009, but backed out of the fight after signing a new contract with Strikeforce. Justino earned a BJJ Purple Belt under her jiu-jitsu instructor Cristiano Marcello in 2009.
She later signed to fight for Strikeforce, which greatly increased the chance that a fight with Gina Carano would take place. In her Strikeforce debut, Justino faced Hitomi Akano on April 11, 2009 at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Diaz. Justino defeated Akano by TKO in the third round.
Before the fight with Carano, Justino was interviewed by mmaworldwide.com’s reporter Aaron Tru. When asked how long it would take to submit Carano with a choke hold, Justino choked the interviewer out cold, in a matter of seconds.
Justino fought Gina Carano on August 15, 2009 at Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg for the Women’s Featherweight Championship. Justino won via TKO at 4:59 of the 5:00 first round. The card was the first time that a major promotion had featured a main event between women. After the match, Justino hugged Carano, and stated in her interview that she had the utmost respect for Carano, and that it was an honor to fight her.
Cris next defended her title against Dutch standout Marloes Coenen at a Strikeforce event on January 30, 2010. Cyborg won the fight via TKO at 3:40 of round 3.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker stated that the next challenger for Justino would most likely be Erin Toughill. However, Toughill later announced her intentions to leave Strikeforce and plans for the fight with Justino were cancelled.
On April 7, 2010, Coker stated that Justino would fight again in June. She faced Jan Finney at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum and won the fight via KO in the second round. Justino’s contract with Strikeforce expired on June 26, 2011. She renewed her Strikeforce contract on August 25, 2011.
Invicta Fighting Championships
On February 15, 2013, Cyborg signed a multi-fight deal with Invicta Fighting Championships. She was scheduled to make her debut on April 5 at Invicta FC 5: Penne vs. Waterson against Ediane Gomes to determine who would move on to face Marloes Coenen. However, Gomes suffered an injury and Justino instead faced Fiona Muxlow. Justino was successful in her return, winning the bout via TKO in the first round.
Justino faced Marloes Coenen in a rematch for the inaugural Invicta FC Featherweight Championship at Invicta FC 6: Coenen vs. Cyborg on July 13, 2013.
Cyborg defeated Coenen by TKO in the fourth round to become the first Invicta FC featherweight champion.