Cris Cyborg Criticizes UFC Matchmaking
UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion Cris Cyborg is once again at odds with the UFC, frustrated with her next bout — rumored to be a champion vs. champion fight with women’s bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes.
The fight seemed likely following Cyborg’s win against Yana Kunitskaya back in March at UFC 222 and Nunes retaining her title at UFC 224 against Raquel Pennington. The dispute seems to stem from the timing of the bout, as Cyborg wanted the bout to take place next month, while Nunes and the UFC are pushing for the UFC 232 end-of-the-year card in Las Vegas.
“The day [Nunes] signed the deal, the UFC reached out to my manager, and then two days before, they asked me to fight Amanda Nunes on Sept. 8th,” Cyborg said on a recent appearance on MMA Tonight on SiriusXM Fight Nation. “I said, ‘Yes, I’m ready. I want to fight.’ After that, they contacted us and said Amanda cannot fight in September, she wants to fight in December. For me to wait for a fight for nine months, I’m not getting paid since this last fight against Yana Kunitskaya. I don’t think it’s fair to wait for nine months to fight. I can fight! I don’t have any injuries. I’m healthy.
I would like to fight before. I would like to fight her but if she’s not ready, if she cannot fight now, I would like to fight before. Or if they want me to sit down nine months, I think it has to be worth it.
This is not the first time Cyborg has been in conflict with the MMA promotion. For a while, UFC President Dana White refused to have a 145-pound women’s division, forcing Cyborg to compete at 140-pound catchweight bouts because weight cuts were too brutal for her to cut to 135. Then, the UFC booked the first women’s featherweight title match between Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie, upsetting Cyborg (she was also dealing with a potential USADA violation at the same time). Eventually, the two sides reconciled and Cyborg won the title back at UFC 214 last year.
Cyborg criticized UFC matchmaking is “all politics,” using both her and Colby Covington as examples of political climate when it comes to putting together UFC matches
“Before Dana White gave the belt to Ronda, I was already the champion in my division, 145, and I think all my fans know what I deal with every day,” Cyborg said. “Like with Ronda or other fights, it’s all politics. I’m the champion a long time, 12 years undefeated, and if a fight doesn’t happen with girls like this, it’s politics.
You can see how it’s politics because I’m ready to fight now and I have to wait nine months and you can see Colby Covington, they’re gonna take his belt — and he got the belt 45 days ago — because Woodley is ready to fight and [Colby] said he’s not ready so they took the belt. This is an example of how politics works.
Cyborg says if things don’t turn around with the UFC soon, then she may walk away from the promotion once her contract expires. She says she is very open to working with other MMA promotions, including Bellator, as well as taking her talents to the world of boxing.
“I have two fights left in the UFC and I hope this works well. I have a dream fight boxing fight and I am for sure gonna fight a boxing fight. If it’s not gonna be the UFC, maybe I’ll fight Julia Budd in Bellator. I think I have a lot of doors I can fight [in],” Cyborg said. “Maybe I could do a Grand Prix, more than one fight per day in Japan. A lot of things can happen. I don’t think this is the finish of my career, this is just one more challenge in my career.
I’ve already overcome a lot of things in my career, and if I don’t fight in the UFC anymore, for sure I’m gonna find other ways to keep growing my legacy.
Original Story: MMA Fighting