UFC president Dana White has been critical of Cris Cyborg, as the former UFC featherweight champion heads into the final fight of her contract, but he just can’t seem to understand why she would be upset with him… again.
White and Cyborg have had a rocky history for about as long as most of us can remember. It started when White was trying to build a blockbuster bout between Cyborg and his one-time superstar Ronda Rousey several years ago.
Their relationship seemed to smooth out a bit after the UFC finally signed Cyborg to head the newly formed featherweight division, giving up on forcing her to fight Rousey at bantamweight. But as Cyborg lost the belt to Amanda Nunes at UFC 232 to close out 2018, the situation again disintegrated.
White at first saw no reason for an immediate rematch, then decided it was the fight to make, saying that Nunes wanted the rematch, but derided Cyborg as afraid to lose again when she declined to accept the fight, instead opting to fight out her contract.
“(Nunes) wants the Cyborg fight, but I don’t think Cyborg wants that fight,” White said in the weeks leading up to UFC 240, where Cyborg will face Felicia Spencer in the co-main event. “I think it’s pretty obvious why she wouldn’t want that fight. It’s not a good fight for her. It’s a bad fight for her. I don’t think she’s afraid. She’s been fighting for a long time. But I think that she’s at the point where she’s afraid to lose again. Losing again isn’t something she’s interested in. Amanda wants it, we want it, but Cyborg doesn’t want it.”
Countering the UFC president, Cyborg has said that she can’t understand why White is lying.
“UFC never gonna give me the rematch if (I don’t) sign new deal,” Cyborg said in a video message. “This is No. 1 bulls–t. If we are suppose to be business partners and building trust so that we can work towards a new deal let’s stop the lies.”
White responded earlier this week by saying that he would give Cyborg a one-fight deal to fight Nunes. Of course, with the UFC featherweight championship on the line, if Cyborg won, the deal would be extended until she lost the belt because of the championship clause built into all UFC contracts.
“She’s mad at me again, for some reason. I am not saying anything negative about Cyborg. She does not want to fight Amanda Nunes. That is a fact. Why she would be mad at me because she doesn’t want to fight Amanda Nunes is beyond me. I have no ill will toward her,” White said earlier this week in Las Vegas.
“It’s not like we’re trying to chase her out of here. We’re trying to get something done. We’re trying to get another fight. Or, if she wanted to, she could do a one-fight deal and fight Amanda,” he added, before admitting that it would not be a one-fight deal if Cyborg defeated Nunes and recaptured the belt. The UFC wouldn’t be willing to let her walk away as a UFC champion.
“She’d have the belt and there’s a clause that goes along with the belt, so it wouldn’t really be a (one fight deal if she won).”
Cyborg, as the situation currently stands, will have completed her UFC contract after fighting Spencer on Saturday night in Edmonton. What happens next remains to be seen.
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