With over 18 years as a professional fighter in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, Cris Cyborg has witnessed the sport change a lot over the past two decades.  Originally training out of the Chute Boxe Academy in Curitiba Brazil, Cristiane Justino was a collegiate level handball player when she got introduced to the sport of MMA and was recruited to join the legendary Vale Tudo team which at the time included legends like; Shogun, Wanderlia Silva, Ninja Rua, and Cyborg Santos–however had yet to feature a prominent female fighter out of the team.  Entering the gym as one of only a couple of women to train out of the facility, Cyborg had to battle stereotypes and prove herself everyday on the mats eventually gaining the opportunity to compete.

Fighting in the first televised female main event in the USA, Cyborg defeated Gina Carano in 2009 to become the StrikeForce women’s featherweight championship which was the first internationally recognized world champion for women competing in Mixed Martial Arts.  Now 18 years in the sport, Cyborg has captured every championship in the sport including Bellator MMA, UFC, Invicta FC, and StrikeForce featherweight belts making her the only ‘Grand Slam Champion’ in the sport.

Competing in Submission Grappling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Cris Cyborg is a 2x IBJJ World Champion at Purple belt competing in the Gi, and an ADCC Bronze Medalist competing Nogi.  After 8 years as a Brown Belt she was finally promoted to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt last year under Legendary Alliance BJJ Instructor and ADCC IBJJ Hall of Fame Cobrinha.

Looking for a fun and innovative way to continue creating opportunities for Female Athletes in the Combative Sports, Cris Cyborg is announcing the creation of the ‘Empowerment Grappling Championships’ which will be hosted Aug. 20th in Orange County California the city of Huntington Beach.  The tournament will only be open to female competitors and will feature both Gi and Nogi brackets for competitors to compete in.  More info on Registration will be announced early next week.

When asked about the tournament Cris Cyborg had this to say, “I am excited to give women a safe and friendly competition that will give women the opportunity to challenge themselves by overcoming their own limitations and fears.  As a lifelong competitor I understand the importance of putting yourself in challenging situations and I think the creation of this tournament is going to really create a powerful movement of sisterhood among all of the competitors–that is my goal with the Empowerment Grappling Championships.”

While registration has not officially been announced, the tournament will take place Saturday Aug. 20th 2022 starting at 9am and will feature belt divisions in the Gi and experience level for nogi competition.  Brackets will also divide adults and master/seniors into the same brackets, giving women the opportunity to compete against those in their similar age brackets and competitive goals, helping create a once in a lifetime grappling competition experience presented by Cris Cyborg and her Team.

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