Invicta FC featherweight champion Cris Cyborg is now 2-0 inside the Octagon, with her most recent win last month being a 2nd round TKO win over Swedish striking ace Lina Lansberg.
Although Cyborg is regarded as one of the greatest female mixed martial artists of all time, she fights primarily under the Invicta FC banner due to the fact that the UFC doesn’t have a women’s featherweight division. In her two Octagon appearances, Cyborg fought at a catchweight of 140 pounds, both times enduring a grueling weight-cut in the process of reaching the contracted weight.
Prior to her fight with Lansberg, Cyborg reportedly cut the remaining 10 pounds of her weight-cut in the last 24 hours before weigh-ins. Despite that, she managed to put on a spectacular performance as she dominated the fight from start to finish.
While the UFC brass has remained adamant that they will not create a women’s featherweight division due to the fact that there aren’t enough women competing at 145 pounds to warrant an entire division, Cyborg believes that if she had “blonde hair & blue eyes” the UFC would be giving her a bigger push as a superstar.
During a recent appearance on Whitlock 1-on-1, UFC President Dana White responded to Cyborg’s comments, saying:
“Let me ask you a question: what makes somebody a star?” White said. “What has been done with Ronda (Rousey) that hasn’t been done with Cyborg, as far as being a star? Ronda is a world champion, had the belt and everything else. We don’t have a belt in that (featherweight) division. We don’t have that weight division for Cyborg … because there aren’t enough good women at 145 pounds to create an entire division.”
“I actually run the business, I actually know what’s going on. She can say it’s B.S. (that there aren’t enough women). I actually know.”
“Ronda Rousey makes a lot of money,” White said. “She gets a lot of attention. She’s doing movies. She has all kinds of other sponsorship deals and all these other things outside of the Octagon too. And listen, other people look at them and say, ‘hey, I should have that too. Why do I not have that too?’ And of course, that’s my fault. You know what I mean? That’s my fault because it’s not happening.
When it was announced that former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey would be returning to the Octagon for a title fight with Amanda Nunes at UFC 207, White stated that Rousey would fight Cris Cyborg if she defeats Nunes. He once again touched on the subject, saying:
“But the reality is this: Cris Cyborg is devastatingly good,” White continued. “She’s been destroying everybody right now. Her popularity is actually starting to go [up]. She’s getting bigger. Everybody wants it right here, right now. It doesn’t happen that way. I promise you this, Ronda has to come in and fight on December 30th. Okay? Ronda has to win, and the girl that she’s fighting is no pushover. She’s nasty and tough and Ronda’s got a fight on her hands there.
“She wins that fight, her and Cris Cyborg are eventually going to fight. Ronda wants that fight. It will be the biggest pay-per-view in UFC history.”