Invicta FC featherweight champion and former Stikeforce women’s featherweight titleholder Cris “Cyborg” Justino is arguably the best female fighter in the world and certainly the best female fighter not signed to the UFC.
She’s headlined Strikeforce fight cards on Showtime and singl- handedly brought an end to the Gina Carano era of Women’s MMA. She has a rivalry with UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey that dates back to her Strikeforce days.
There are two factors that have kept her out of the UFC Octagon. The UFC doesn’t have a women’s featherweight division. Cyborg has said she can’t make the cut from 145 pounds to the 135-pound weight class. Although, at one time, the UFC offered to assist her in teaming with the right nutritionists and conditioning experts to safely make the transition.
But there may be a bigger factor than dropping weight classes preventing Cyborg from competing on mixed martial arts’ biggest stage. She is represented by Tito Ortiz’s Primetime 360 Entertainment & Sports Management Inc.
Ortiz’s fued with UFC president Dana White has been well documented over the years and has escalated since the former light heavyweight titleholder inked a deal with Bellator MMA in July.
“She’s got a dummy running her business who can’t run his own business,” said White during a UFC World Tour: Silva vs. Weidman 2 press stop in Brazil.
“She literally committed professional suicide. The dumbest guy in the sport, literally, the dumbest guy in the sport, who has destroyed his own career, she has him guide her career. It makes no sense,” added the UFC president.
White didn’t close the door on working with Cyborg, but made it clear that’s not going to happen as long as she is managed by Ortiz.
“The last thing I would do, ever, is do anything with that knucklehead, and I’m not talking about Cyborg.”