It seems as though Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and its President, Dana White, finally caved and offered Brazilian mixed martial arts (MMA) powerhouse, Cris Cyborg, a Featherweight title fight inside the Octagon after needlessly resisting since its acquisition of Strikeforce back in 2011.
There is just one big problem: The former Strikeforce (and reigning Invicta FC) 145-pound women’s champion — did not accept ... twice.
“What’s crazy about that is this: I offered Cris Cyborg a title fight at 145 pounds a month ago,” White told ‘UFC Unfiltered.’ “She had eight weeks to get ready for it, but she said she couldn’t make the weight — she couldn’t make 145 pounds. I offered her another 145-pound title fight [at UFC 209 in Brooklyn on Feb. 11, 2016] and she turned it down.
“She has turned down two 145-pound title fights,” White incredulously continued. “One because she couldn’t make 145 pounds in eight weeks! [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva said that if she couldn’t make 145 pounds in eight weeks then it isn’t the right weight class for her, either.”
Cyborg has been very, very vocal about UFC creating a 145-pound female division around her (full details) much like it did for Ronda Rousey at Bantamweight. White has argued that there aren’t enough worthy contenders to justify such an expansion, but that narrative was always viewed as a smokescreen to protect his most valuable asset, Rousey, who has
brow-beaten baited the Brazilian into a future “mega” fight that will probably never happen.
Indeed, the weight cut down to 140 pounds was so brutal (watch it) that after two successful attempts this year she called it Catchweight quits. So, it doesn’t make much sense that she would balk at the opportunity to fight Holly Holm — who was always interested in the match up — and No. 11-ranked Germaine de Randamie at a later date for the first-ever UFC 145-pound women’s world title.
“We just said, ‘fuck it,’ we’ll make a 145-pound title for you [because you are having such a hard time making weight] — here we go,” White concluded. “Then she says she can’t make 145 pounds in eight weeks. Then we offered her the fight in Brooklyn and she turned that one down, too [without giving a reason]. This is not about weight — it obviously has nothing to do with weight cutting. I don’t know what it has to do with, but we’ll figure it out.”
Well, it apparently it has everything to do with weight and the post-fight side effects. The timing, too, appears to be off by about one month, with Cyborg willing to return sometime in March 2017 or shortly thereafter.
She states her case:
10 years they won't make my division. Now they are saying I turn down fights? Why don't they talk about the side effects from my last cut— Cris Cyborg (@criscyborg) December 6, 2016
Indeed, there doesn’t seem like much to figure out: White and Co. are willing to book a 145-pound women’s title fight that features Cyborg ... it just has to wait three months to make it happen. Cyborg, as well as fight fans have waited this long, 90 more days is nothing.
Make it happen.