Amanda Nunes recently theorized on why a rematch with Cris Cyborg never came to fruition in the UFC.
“The Lioness” defeated Cyborg via a shocking first-round KO in their December, 2018 fight. UFC President Dana White claimed that Cyborg didn’t want a rematch. However, Cyborg has always maintained her stance that she always wanted a rematch.
Due to rising tensions with the UFC and Dana White, Cyborg eventually left the organization and signed with Bellator.
By Nunes’ estimation, Cyborg would have preferred to face a different opponent.
“I was supposed to have the rematch against Cris right after my fight against Holly Holm,” Nunes said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “Dana called me and then he asked me ‘would you be able to do this? Would you be able to fight right after?’
“I said ‘100% I’m going to be ready for [it].’ I wanted that rematch for sure. Literally, when I went to the Internet the next day, she was released by the UFC and I don’t understand,” Nunes continued.
“She asked to fight [Felicia] Spencer, and she didn’t take the rematch against me, right after.
“She preferred to fight Spencer because I think it was the last fight on her contract because she wanted to renegotiate after to fight me. I think she wanted a little more money. I don’t know what was the reason but I’m guessing [that was it].”
Considering their first and only fight finished after just 51 seconds, Nunes feels she already proved herself against her fellow Brazilian.
“Honestly I proved my point in that fight. I know, me and my coach, everybody around me, we all knew I was gonna beat her that night,” she said. “I was so ready for that fight. It happened, I proved my point, but I feel all these things are asking for a rematch. I think that would have been huge for women’s MMA.
“The rematch would have had more eyes on it. It would have been good for both of us, not only me.”
Cyborg says she is willing to do a cross-promotional rematch against Amanda Nunes, but the UFC has historically been averse to co-promotion, so this seems unlikely.
Do you think we’ll ever see these Brazilian MMA legends fight again?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/10/2019.