UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg was hoping her super fight with bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes would occur at UFC 228 this September 8. Regrettably, Nunes turned this date down, and the UFC is now working on the fight for UFC 232 on December 29.
This is not ok with Cyborg, who has not fought since March, when she mauled Yana Kunitskaya to a first-round stoppage. The featherweight champ is simply not interested in enduring long layovers of this length.
“Friday, last week, I talked to the UFC, and I said I wanted to fight, that I’m ready to fight,” Cyborg said on the Brazilian program Combate News (translated by Fernanda Prates for MMAjunkie). “I’ve been training, ready, and I want to fight. They offered me September, the 8th, in Dallas, to fight Amanda. I said that’s fine. I’ll fight. I’ve been training. I’m ready. A champion has to be ready all the time.
“Then on Monday they said [she] didn’t accept Sept. 8. Then I said I wanted to fight anyway. I want to fight. I don’t want to be idle. And then Amanda sent the picture, saying she accepted the fight on Dec. 29.”
“It’s the same as someone arriving at your house, knocking at your door and asking you to throw down, and then they say, ‘Wait, I need one year to prepare,’” Cyborg continued, discussing Nunes’ original call-out of her. “When you do that, you have to be ready for when the fight happens. But then to need six months to prepare, one year? I think it’s disrespectful toward me, to wait one year for a person to be ready. I have no problem with fighting Amanda on Dec. 29. She wants time to be ready. But I believe I could fight before that, not wait all this time. Especially because we get paid when we fight.
“I don’t think it’s right for the girls in Amanda’s division to wait one year to fight. I know that Ketlen Vieira, she deserves to fight for the belt. So if [Nunes] needs all this time to move up a weight class, heal her leg, whatever time she needs, then she should vacate the belt and do an interim belt so Vieira has her shot at the belt.”
In Cris Cyborg’s opinion, the UFC’s willingness to bump this fight back on the docket is the latest example of their proven lack of commitment to their women’s featherweight division. Another example is the women’s featherweight cast for the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter, which features a handful of beefed-up bantamweights.
“They did the [TUF 28] house, and they cut all the girls at 145,” Cyborg said. “They only signed up the girls who can make 135 pounds. Holly Holm says she doesn’t want to fight now. Pam Sorenson tried out for ‘TUF,’ but she didn’t make it. They didn’t put her through I think because she doesn’t make 135. There’s Cindy Dandois, who also beat Megan Anderson.
“There’s Ediane Gomes, who sends me messages challenging me all the time. [She’s] also in my division. There are girls who can fight. There are girls in my division. But they don’t want it. They want that fight with Amanda. But I don’t think it’s fair to wait 10 months, one year for this fight to happen.”
Needless to say, Cyborg is getting fed up with the way the UFC is managing her career and the division she rules, and she’s prepared to take her services elsewhere when her contract wraps up in March. In fact, she expects her UFC career to end at that point.
“I believe [Nunes] will be my last fight in the UFC,” Cyborg said. “My contract goes until March, and with me waiting to fight in December, I think it will be the last one people will see me fight.”
Where do you think Cris Cyborg will end up?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/15/2018.