Dutch kickboxer Jorina Baars had a 35-0-3 undefeated record in Muay Thai so impressive that she had a hard time getting fights. That precipitated a move to MMA, where she lost her amateur MMA debut, and immediately turned pro, winning only once in four contests.
Meanwhile, Invicta FC featherweight champion Cris "Cyborg" Justino was destroying everything in her path in the cage.
The pair met Friday night under Muay Thai rules at Lion Fight 14, at The Joint inside Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, and televised on AXS TV. Despite not having stepping into the ring in three years, Baars won by an overwhelming score, in one of the best female fights of all time.
Baars dominated Justino in the early rounds, landing a career highlight reel full of devastating blows. Justino showed tremendous heart and conditioning, rallying in the later rounds, but the final judges scores were 49-45, 48-45, 49-44.
Jorina Baars is now the inaugural Lion Fight women's welterweight champion.
Gifs via Zombie Prophet
Fight video highlights:
Full fight video:
Baars offered a sober assessment of her opponent.
"She is strong and she has power," said Baars. "But it's not the hardest punch I've gotten hit with."
Justino however was not dismayed at the loss.
"I'm so happy because I gave her five rounds with her, a champion of Muay Thai," said Cyborg to MMAFighting. "No girl wants to fight her. She hasn't fought in three years.
"She's had eight belts and 38 fights, zero (losses). She's never lost. I have two fights in Muay Thai.
"She had a good gameplan against me. She's tall. It's hard to punch her in the face. ... The first round I said, okay, I can lose this fight. But I fought hard, I was ready for a war."
"I always respected her. I watched fights of hers, I know she has a lot of good fights, I know she's experienced, but I tried. I tried and I trained, because I love fighting. This is what I love. I love being inside the ring.
"I'm so happy. I want to fight again. I never choose my opponents, and I think a true fighter never chooses opponents. You have to be ready for everybody."
The everybody that Justino wants to fight above all is UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. It is not yet known how the loss will affect negotiations with UFC president Dana White.
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