Leslie Smith welcomes Cris “Cyborg” Justino to the Octagon on Saturday night at UFC 198, and she’s relishing her role as the underdog into the matchup.
In the weeks since the fight was announced, there’s been little talk of her being much more than a body for Cyborg to get through in her debut, but in a pre-fight video released by the UFC into the event Smith says people will definitely be talking about her after Saturday night.
“I’m totally okay with being an underdog – it means I don’t have any pressure on me,” Smith said (transcribed by FoxSports.com). “I have nothing to lose, that means I have everything to gain and nothing to fear. After this fight, people are going to know me as the woman who destroyed Cyborg.”
The fight goes down in Curitiba on Saturday as part of the stacked stadium show, headlined by the UFC Heavyweight Championship bout between Fabricio Werdum and Stipe Miocic.
Penick’s Analysis: This is a massive opportunity for Smith just as much as it’s an extremely dangerous and difficult fight for her. Many expect her to get destroyed, and if she doesn’t that’s an accomplishment in itself. If she manages to beat Cyborg, it’s going to be a result absolutely everyone’s going to be talking about come Sunday morning. Can she pull that off? It’s certainly doubtful, but it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility.
[Photo (c) Matt Roberts via USA Today Sports]
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