This weekend, in the main event of the UFC’s return to Brasilia, Brazil, Cris “Cyborg” Justino will take on the debuting Lina Lansberg in a 140-pound catchweight bout. Apparently, the Brazilian slugger is having a difficult weight cut – though this news is not much of a surprise. Cyborg discussed her cut to 140 with Ariel Helwani on the latest episode of The MMA Hour.
In her interview with Helwani, Cyborg explained that she began this camp at a whopping 175 pounds. So, the first thing she was offered the fight was consult the calendar to see how much time she had to drop the necessary weight.
“The first thing [I did] when I knew about my fight was I checked my calendar to see how many weeks I had,” she explained. “Because, you know, it’s at 140 again, and the last fight I had 12 weeks to make 140, and this fight it’s 8 weeks.”
To help wrangle this massive weight cut, Cyborg has enlisted the help of renowned MMA nutritionist George Lockhart. In what’s likely to be deemed a controversial move, however, the well-respected nutrition coach has had Cyborg start taking birth control as a way of keeping her weight down.
“In this camp, my nutrition coach started giving me birth control, and I’ve never taken this in my life, and I’ve taken this for like three months, every day,” Cyborg said.
“He says it’ll be good for me, and I believe him,” she continued. “He said to start because it’ll help me lose weight.”
While Cyborg assured that she trusts her nutrition coach, she also admitted that she has doubts about the effectiveness of this birth control regimen, and also plans to stop taking it after the fight because she worries about the adverse effects it will have on her body.
“Does it help? I dunno,” she said. “But I believe in him. I’ve worked with him for like two years and a half.”
“After this fight I don’t really want any more birth control because I don’t really think it’s good for my body, and I talked to my doctor too, and he said ‘this is no good,’ but let’s see.”
Despite this strange weight management regimen, however, Cyborg admitted that just four days out from fight night, she weighs around 165 pounds. If math isn’t your strong suit, that means she’s got 25 pounds left to shave off to make her contracted weight of 140. That’s a lot.
“I don’t know why I’m taking [birth control], because we made 140 successfully [without it] last fight,” she explained. “It’s really hard, but we did. But you know, George has a plan, and he said ‘you take this birth control.’ So now I’m 168, and I woke up at like 165.”
“This camp, I haven’t touched 150. It’s really scary. I look in the mirror and I say man, I’ve been training double, I don’t know why I haven’t touched the 50s.”
Needless to say, the Invicta champ has a brutal – and possibly dangerous – weight cut ahead. Given the incredible difficulty she has making 140 pounds, Helwani asked why she’s willing to accept catchweight bouts in the UFC. Cyborg admitted she wasn’t entirely sure, and questioned the UFC’s choice to promote her bout with Lansberg at 140, when Lansberg also typically competes at 14.5.
“I’m really upset about this, because the girl I’m fighting, she’s a 145 pounder,” Cyborg said. “She has to lose weight too. My team has seen her, she’s losing weight too, it’s really hard for her, because she’s a 145’er too, same as me. And I’m upset because I said I want to make 140 because I want big super fights. Give me top-10 girls at 135.”
At the end of the day, however, Cyborg said she’s willing to endure this brutal cut for her fans.
“I’m doing my job, and I’m doing this for my fans. I do everything for my fans.”
Do you think the powerful Brazilian will make weight for her Saturday night bout with Lina Lansberg? Do you think it’s irresponsible of the UFC to force her to fight at 140? Sound off, PENN nation!