Jorina Baars Believes Win Over Cris “Cyborg” Changed Doubters Minds, Lion Fight Champ Not a Fan of Ronda Rousey’s “Big Mouth”
By Kelsey Mowatt
While Cris “Cyborg” Justino has made headlines throughout the MMA world on numerous occasions, most recently, the former Strikeforce champ was in the news for something that didn’t take place in a cage. On March 28th, “Cyborg” was decisioned by Jorina Baars while competing for the kickboxing promotion Lion Fight. Although it was only Justino’s third professional kickboxing bout, and her first defeat since 2005, the loss left some wondering whether it set back her pursuit of UFC champ Ronda Rousey.
“I think it’s not a problem for Cris and her MMA career,” Baars relayed on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, when asked if she believes the loss hurt Justino’s MMA prospects. “Muay Thai and MMA is totally different sport, but I think it’s good for her to fight Muay Thai as well because she can do more fights.”
“Maybe it’s good for her to fight more and more Muay Thai…,” the 25 year-old Baars added about the Invicta FC featherweight champ, who has gone undefeated in 13 straight MMA bouts. “It helps her in MMA.”
Despite the fact Baars is a decorated kickboxer, it appeared as though many observers believed “Cyborg” would lay claim to the Lion Fight welterweight belt on March 28th.
“I think they did that because in Europe they know me but in America and Asia, people don’t know me, and don’t know my name” the Dutch striker noted, while discussing the underdog status some people assigned her heading into Lion Fight 14. “When they saw me fight, I think they changed their mind.”
After knocking “Cyborg” down early on with a front kick, Baars went on to outscore the Brazilian fighter throughout five rounds, and earned the unanimous decision win.
“I feel great,” said Baars, when asked about the victory. “She was a good fighter and she’s a strong fighter. She’s so explosive. So, I knew that before the fight and I trained so hard for this fight, and I knew I could win. I did it.”
“I think I won with my techniques,” furthered Baars, who also noted that her length and reach “helped” her get the victory. “She’s a fighter and she comes forward, forward, forward and I pushed her backwards. She’s not so strong (moving) back…I kept my head cool and did my thing.”
Since Baars defeated one of the planet’s top women fighters, there has been some speculation as to whether she might return to MMA.
“I’m interested in MMA…” said Baars, who has gone 1-3 to date in MMA competition, but said she’s currently unable to compete in the sport due to personal issues. “I hope maybe in one or two years I can start training again.”
While it remains to be see if “Cyborg” and Rousey will ever battle, it sounds like Baars will be rooting for Justino if the super fight gets booked. When asked for her thoughts on Rousey, who has become one of MMA’s biggest stars in recent years, Baars stated:
“She’s a great fighter and she wins a lot with the armbar, and she’s a great wrestler and Judoka, but, I don’t like her big mouth,” said Baars, who relayed her next Lion Fight bout could take place on July 4th. “I’m always normal, and I always took good about my opponents, but she is sometimes a little bit too, how do you say, too celebrity, and I don’t like that.”
And how does Baars think she would fair against Rousey in the ring and or cage?
“Thai boxing, yeah, it’s no problem I think, but in MMA she is better than me,” said Baars, who has been training in kickboxing since she was just seven. “She’s the number one in the world I think.”