White Continues To Question Cyborg’s Toughness
With her unanimous decision win against Felicia Spencer last weekend at UFC 240, Cris Cyborg officially became a free agent.
Cyborg, who joined the UFC a few years ago after fighting for Strikeforce and Invicta, among other MMA brands, dominated the organization’s featherweight division until December 2018, where she was knocked out by current featherweight and bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes.
With the win and a very lucrative rematch with Nunes in-play, Cyborg and UFC President Dana White begin contract negotiations amidst a very public feud over a Nunes rematch.
“That’s up to Cris,” White told Brett Okamoto of ESPN after UFC 240, about a rematch with Nunes. “Amanda Nunes was blowing me up all night. She was like ‘Get her to take this fight. Get her to take this fight.’ I know every time I speak, Cyborg thinks I’m speaking negatively about her, which I’m not. I’m just speaking facts.
“After watching her fight tonight and after her last fight, I don’t blame her for not wanting to fight Amanda Nunes. If that was Amanda Nunes in there tonight, you know . . .”
Cyborg and White have not always gotten along, especially with White making several remarks about Cyborg’s physical appearance and past PED issues, but that has quieted down since Cyborg made the jump to the Endeavor owned promotion in 2016.
“Cyborg has been around for a long time,” White said of the 34-year-old fighter. “In my honest opinion, Cyborg sees herself in the twilight of her career, and I think she would like some easier fights. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Many fighters have left to move on to easier fights and there’s nothing wrong with that.
“When you get to a certain age and a certain point of her career and you look like Cris tonight, if that was Amanda Nunes, it’s a whole different ballgame. I don’t blame her for that, I’m not criticizing her for that, but these are facts. And the fact is, I will make the fight if she wants to fight Amanda, and Amanda wants that fight.”
Cyborg in her post-fight press conference, called White a liar, who was bullying her during negotiations, and publicly wondered if she’d want to stay in the UFC, but wore a “Cyborg-Nunes 2 Coming January 2020” shirt on her way out of the presser.
“I love it,” White said of Cyborg’s t-shirt. “That’s the fight to make. That’s the fight I want to make so we’ll see what we can do. If that’s true. If that’s the fight she wants and she really wants that fight. I don’t see how we don’t make a deal.”
“The baddest woman on the planet is the champion at 145 pounds,” White said.
“The best woman ever to fight holds the ‘35 and ‘45 pound [belts]. You know what’s gonna happen to it? It’s gonna get defended by the baddest chick in the world, that’s what’s gonna happen to it. Amanda wants to stay busy. Amanda wants to fight. Amanda’s the woman to do it.”
Transcribed by MMA Fighting