Cris Cyborg explains why she turned down two UFC featherweight title fights

December 6, 2016 9:55 am by Evan Bell
Cris Cyborg interview

Since Invicta FC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg made her successful UFC debut back in May at UFC 198, the arguable pound for pound women’s champ has been campaigning for the UFC to create a women’s featherweight division. With that being said, many fight fans were shocked to learn this week that when the UFC actually offered Cyborg two women’s UFC featherweight title fights, Cyborg turned both down.

UFC President Dana White explained that Cyborg informed he and UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby that she would be unable to make the 145 pound featherweight limit on eight weeks notice due to the difficult weight cut she endured several months ago when cutting to make the catchweight limit of 140 pounds for her ‘UFC Fight Night: Sao Paulo’ headlining scrap with Lina Lansberg.

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Now, Cyborg has broken her silence on the matter, releasing a lengthy statement to MMAFighting regarding the situation, saying:

“In my last weight cut I almost died. I was in the bathtub cutting weight, and I thought, ‘I will die in this bathtub.’ It was the worst weight cut in my life. My nutritionist George Lockhart, who, by the way, is a UFC employee, didn’t do an effective job with this birth control pill he indicated saying that would help me. But thank God, in a war, I made weight, cutting 24 pounds in a week. My body was retaining a lot of water. The last time I spoke with George Lockhart was in the locker room before my fight. He disappeared after the fight. I’m not working with him anymore.

For the first time I didn’t warm up in the locker room like I do for every fight because I was too weak. I was just praying for God and went for the fight, and, once again, God gave me the victory. After all this, I went back to my hometown on Sunday and I felt sick on Sunday. My mother gave me tea and I fell asleep. The next day, like I always do after my fights, I did blood tests to see if everything was okay after a terrible weight cut. And for the first time, the nurses couldn’t take my blood, it was so thick it wouldn’t come out, so we couldn’t do tests. I was in treatment for 10 days with Dr. Ulisseia. I was in observation because I was feeling sick all the time.

You can see that I give no interviews after the fight. I told UFC Brazil PR Lilian (Caparroz) that I wanted to cancel all my interviews and couldn’t travel. After all that, at home, I decided I would not fight at this weight anymore, that I would only fight at my division. And only with 12 weeks’ notice. For my last fight, they told me eight weeks before.

I got a call from the UFC offering me another catchweight fight, and I said I would not fight at this weight anymore. I needed a break to get my health back to normal because my body was weak, I was anemic.

After that, they invited me to fight again, but this time at my weight and for the belt, but with 10 weeks’ notice. Knowing that I was recovering, like I said, I told them I can fight anyone in February, but I need to take care of my body, and no mention of the fact that I’m dealing with severe depression and can’t have another brutal weight cut like before. This decision is more important than the belt or the division, I’m thinking about my health.

I thank my fans. We did it! I’ll soon be fighting in my division, where I’m the world champion. You and God are loyal. I’ll be ready to fight in February.”

Cris Cyborg


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