Cris Cyborg says she “doesn’t have a problem” meeting Katie Taylor inside the boxing ring – but a fantastic fight has to wait until next year.
Bellator mixed martial artist Cyborg is among the best female fighters in her sport and has been linked by her promoter to a crossover clash against undisputed lightweight champion Taylor.
“[Bellator president] Scott Coker said maybe we were doing a boxing fight and an MMA fight, ”Cyborg told Sky Sports.
“I have no problem with that.
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“If I have the time to train in boxing, I won’t have any problem. I love challenges.
“Boxing is one of my dreams.
“I know Taylor is skillful, I know how good she is.
“I have nothing to lose.
“For a boxing match, I would need time to focus only on boxing. So I don’t think it will be this year because I have a lot of MMA fights.
“Next year? Maybe.”
Coker previously said: “Why does it always have to be an MMA fighter to become a boxer? Why can’t it be the other way around?
“Saying that, if Cyborg really wants to fight her, she wants to go boxing and win a title? She wants to fight Katie? We would step back and let them do that.
“We’re not going to be the ones to stop this fight from happening.”
Taylor promoter Eddie Hearn said: “Cyborg can fight, she can box, she’s heavy. But she’s heavy and that’s a problem.”
Coker had issued a challenge: “If Eddie Hearn wants to determine who is the best star in the fight, then maybe he should think about it.”
Hearn replied, “Reciprocate in the cage? Not likely! Katie is a pure boxer.”
Taylor previously said of Cyborg: “If the fight was to take place, it would only be in the boxing ring.
“It’s a name that’s been thrown around and I’m very happy to step in the ring with her if she’s open to it.”
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“I think Claressa will do very well,” Cyborg said. “She is young, has a lot of time to learn.
“She has incredible boxing skills and every [MMA fight] starts to get up.
“His opponents must be careful.”
Shields is the first boxer to go undisputed in two divisions in the era of the four belts and has won boxing gold medals in back-to-back Olympics.
She had previously spoken to Sky Sports about changing sports: “I mix disciplines to see what makes me comfortable being a great fighter in MMA.
“I’m a natural super athlete and I learn things very quickly. I’ve never had a day in training where the coach said, ‘You did a terrible job.’
“They are amazed at how much I can consume in a day, how much I can work, work, work.
“If I don’t understand something, I have no problem asking.
“I thought wrestling would be the hardest thing, but it was all a joy. It all makes sense to me.
“It’s always a fight, I just have to hold myself a little differently. It’s about your mind being able to go from standing to being on the floor, hands to elbows. I’m a quick thinker.”