UFC featherweight Cris Cyborg wanted to fight bantamweight Amanda Nunes at UFC 228 in Dallas, but that’s not happening. Instead, Nunes wants the fight to occur at UFC 232 in December, some nine months after Cyborg’s last fight.
Cyborg isn’t happy about this.
”Amanda has talked a bunch of stuff, saying she couldn’t fight, that she was injured and would take her six months to recover,” Cyborg told MMA Fighting. “She challenged me in January and said she’s injured and needs some time. Ok, fine, but I’m a champion in my division and I’m always fighting.
”She’s used to fighting only once a year, but I’m ready to fight now. It’s been four months since my last fight, and I’m ready. There’s no excuse. ‘Oh, but there aren’t opponents for you.’ There are. If you look out there, there are. I’ve always fought in Invicta and always had opponents.”
Cris Cyborg continued, asserting that if Nunes isn’t ready, it’s the UFC’s job to produce another featherweight title challenger.
”If you watch her interviews, it’s like she’s going out on vacation,” Cyborg said of Nunes. “My job is fighting. I want to fight. I don’t want to stay out for almost a year in my prime. I think it’s disrespectful. … Dana (White) took Colby Covington’s belt. He won that belt two months ago and was stripped because (Tyron) Woodley wants to fight and he’s injured. How about me, who wants to fight? She challenged me six months ago and still needs six months? She said she’s going to travel with her girlfriend. No problem with that, but I’m ready to fight. A champion must be ready at all times. I want to fight now, and when she’s ready we can fight.”
”It’s no secret that the UFC doesn’t promote Brazilians,” she continued. “Ketlen Vieira will fight Tonya Evinger now. She has 10 straight wins and should be fighting for the belt. OK, Amanda wants to move up, so she deserves an interim belt in Sao Paulo against a ranked girl. She’s fighting Tonya Evinger, who’s not even ranked in the UFC, in a non-title fight. Why are they doing that? Because they will do Holly Holm with someone else for the interim belt. I’m almost positive of that. But that’s not right with Ketlen Vieira, who is ranked.
“It’s not fair to have me sidelined in my prime because Amanda wants to go out on vacation. I’m the champion for 10 years, before the UFC had women fighting. I’m the champion and that’s how I make a living. We only get paid when we fight, and I’ll stay out for almost a year waiting for Amanda.”
Given the difficulty Cris Cyborg has had getting fights in the UFC, she’s seriously considering leaving the promotion when her contract wraps up. She plans to test free agency at that point and see if she can find a better arrangement elsewhere.
”It’s the difficulty of working together,” Cyborg said. “I want to see which options I got. I want to see the options. I like to fight where people respect me. I like my job and I think it’s disrespectful to stay out for almost a year in my prime.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 8/1/2018.