Cris Cyborg has claimed titles across virtually every major MMA promotion and is currently testing herself in boxing, but what about taking off the gloves for a bare-knuckle fight?
That’s what reigning BKFC flyweight champion Christine Ferea would love to see as she seeks out the biggest fights for her own career. While she’s currently preparing for a rematch against UFC and Bellator veteran Bec Rawlings at BKFC 56, Ferea hopes she’ll continue raising her own profile to make it enticing for somebody like Cyborg or boxing champion Amanda Serrano to cross over and challenge her in bare-knuckle competition.
“I do want big names but I have to earn it,” Ferea told MMA Fighting. “I have to get the attention of Amanda Serrano or Cris Cyborg to make it worth it for them. Why are they going to come to bare-knuckle if I don’t bring anything? Just to do it? They’re in positions that they don’t need anybody or anything. I have to make it worth it and bring something to the table for them as well. Not just for myself but for them.
“So of course I want Amanda Serrano, I would fight Cris Cyborg. But I have to make it worth it, and I feel like huge knockouts and bigger numbers and just more attention, that would be more enticing for them to come over.”
Serrano, who has previously fought in MMA, typically competes between 125 and 140 pounds, which falls right in range with Ferea as a flyweight in BKFC. There would be a massive size difference against somebody like Cyborg, however, who has held numerous titles as a featherweight but obviously walks around much larger than 145 pounds.
None of that matters to Ferea because she just loves the idea of challenging herself against the biggest and best opponents, and it doesn’t get much better than a legend like Cyborg.
“Cris Cyborg, she outweighs me by at least 40 pounds,” Ferea said. “That would be something that would level the playing field by a lot [for her bare-knuckle debut].
“It’s a dangerous fight for me but I would do it. Definitely. I would have to do it at 145 because she can’t get under that. That’s a huge task. That would be like a Bob Sapp versus Ernesto Hoost [in kickboxing]. That’s what that is. For women, that’s a big jump for me at 125.”
It may sound like Ferea is just shooting her shot by mentioning Cyborg as a dream opponent, but it turns out she’s also talked about the possibility with BKFC president Dave Feldman.
He’s not only receptive to the idea, but Feldman revealed that Cyborg actually contacted BKFC with interest in potentially making a move into bare-knuckle not that long ago.
“[Christine Ferea] said, ‘Hey boss, I want to fight Cris Cyborg,’ and the funny thing is Cris Cyborg actually reached out to us,” Feldman told MMA Fighting. “It’s something that I’m not going to say it’s definitely happening, but it’s something that could be in the cards for us.
“I mean, imagine Cris Cyborg throwing down bare-knuckle. That would be unbelievable. And against someone like Christine Ferea, who doesn’t like to back up and just likes to walk through her opponents, I think it could be a very, very exciting matchup. I think that’s something the fans could get very excited about.”
Cyborg is currently scheduled for a boxing match in January and just recently inked a new multi-fight deal with Bellator, which now falls under PFL’s ownership. Of course, PFL has allowed fighters like Francis Ngannou to pursue boxing and Bellator gave Michael Page permission to cross over for a BKFC fight against Mike Perry, so anything seems possible.
Feldman says he hasn’t personally spoken to Cyborg yet about possibly teaming up one day in the future, but it’s a conversation he hopes to have sooner rather than later.
“I didn’t talk to her but she reached out and said, ‘Hey, I’d love to do a bare-knuckle [fight],’” Feldman said. “I didn’t reach out because I wasn’t ready yet, but we’ll see what happens after this fight and we’ll definitely reach out and see if we can make something happen.”
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