Up until last night, many believed the legendary Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino was invincible. No female fighter on this planet could ever beat Cyborg. That notion has now been obliterated after the undefeated Dutch champion, Jorina Baars, showed off her talents.
Just because you’re great in one fighting sport, in one, two or three leagues, that doesn’t mean you rule the world and can jump from sport to sport or command the same respect. For many years, the fighters from The Netherlands have been considered the best Muaythai fighters in the world and when it comes to using all eight limbs, Baars is a remarkable talent.
On Friday night, the Invicta FC featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” from The Arena MMA Gym right here in Point Loma, San Diego, CA was in Las Vegas to fight Baars in a full rules Muay Thai bout in the Lion Fight promotions, Lion Fight 14, shown on AXS TV. Cyborg was coming off of a dominant win over the French Muay Thai Champion Jennifer Colomb in her previous Muay Thai match, but she wasn’t prepared for Baars’ size advantage plus the wallops she received from the high kicks to the neck and head.
Just after the opening bell, Cyborg went rushing at Baars, but then quickly took a kick directly to the face that dropped her to one knee. Referee Tony Weeks then jumped in to separate the fighters, and issue Cyborg her first 8-count.
Hoping to make up for the knockdown, Cyborg went right back to rush Baars and hopefully begin to pound her in the face. But Baars did not let her advance. She steadily used her high kicks and push kicks to keep her at bay. She not only controlled the distance in the first round, she continued to rock Cyborg, including another huge head kick that dropped the MMA champ for a second time. Round 1 was all about Baars, as she used her superior technique to not only avoid punishment but to inflict it.
As the second round began, Baars was right back in control and refused to let Cyborg get too close or overpower her in the clinches. Then, midway through the second round, Cyborg fans finally saw their heroine close the distance and dump Baars. Returning to her feet, Baars was again able to use her length to keep Cyborg at bay by attacking her legs right up until the bell.
In the third round, Cyborg got off to a great start with another flurry, but before you knew it, Baars had them right back in the center of the ring where she connected with a huge knee to the jaw that sent a surprised Cyborg flying back into the ropes.
By this time, Cyborg, with all sorts of bruises on her face, managed to throw Baars to the ground. After another clinch, the bout ended with a wild exchange that simultaneously saw Baars land another high kick and Cyborg catching Baars with a big overhand right.
The fourth round, more or less, mirrored the third round with Cyborg continually fighting with this sense of urgency, hoping one of her wide looping punches would land and somehow put Baars’ lights out. But Baars weathered each storm and showed no signs of being intimidated. Cyborg again landed a big shot to the body and then threw Baars to the ground. Cyborg was using her strength to continuously toss Baars to the mat. The fourth ended with a huge shot from Cyborg that landed flush, but Baars just shook her head as if to say, ‘Is that all you got?’
With just one round to go, Baars still had a slight edge on the score cards due to those earlier knockdowns. In the final round, Baars scored another knockdown with this powerful, spinning back kick to the body that once again sent the MMA queen to the canvas.
Back came Cyborg with wild flurries in an attempt to overwhelm Baars and make up for the knockdown. The warriors continued to throw punches right up till the final bell.
Lion Fight 14 highlights
All three judges had Baars winning (49-45, 48-45, 49-44) to become the inaugural Lion Fight welterweight champion.
If you want to see the fight in it’s entirety
So, there you have it. Baars (36-0) remains at the top of her sport. We should have seen it coming. After all this was a Muaythai match where kickboxing reigns supreme, where technique is often better than power. It wasn’t an MMA match where you can bull rush someone, then pounce on them to finish them off with the ground and pound.