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Cris Cyborg explains turning down 145-pound UFC title fights - 'In my last weight cut I almost died'

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Cyborg vs Lansberg Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

After Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) finally caved and created a women’s Featherweight belt specifically to have Cris Cyborg compete for it, company president Dana White recently revealed that the powerhouse striker turned down two offers to do so. Why? According to White, she didn't have enough time (eight weeks) to make the 145-pound limit for a potential fight against Holly Holm. Then, she simply refused to fight Germaine de Randamie -- which was scheduled for a later date -- for no reason.

In a statement released to MMA Fighting, Cyborg explains the exact reason(s) she turned down the title fights, saying that going through another brutal weight cut (watch it) was something that simply wasn’t feasible. And seeing as how she almost "died" during her previous drop down to 140 pounds, she needed more time for her mind and body to recover before fighting again ... even if it is at her normal weight class.

In my last weight cut I almost died. I was in the bathtub cutting weight, and I thought, ‘I will die in this bathtub.' It was the worst weight cut in my life. My nutritionist George Lockhart, who, by the way, is a UFC employee, didn't do an effective job with this birth control pill he indicated saying that would help me. But, thank God, in a war, I made weight, cutting 24 pounds in a week. My body was retaining a lot of water. The last time I spoke with George Lockhart was in the locker room before my fight. He disappeared after the fight. I'm not working with him anymore.

For the first time I didn't warm up in the locker room like I do for every fight because I was too weak. I was just praying for God and went for the fight, and, once again, God gave me the victory. After all this, I went back to my hometown on Sunday and I felt sick on Sunday. My mother gave me tea and I fell asleep. The next day, like I always do after my fights, I did blood tests to see if everything was okay after a terrible weight cut. And for the first time, the nurses couldn't take my blood, it was so thick it wouldn't come out, so we couldn't do tests. I was in treatment for 10 days with Dr. Ulisseia. I was in observation because I was feeling sick all the time.

You can see that I give no interviews after the fight. I told UFC Brazil PR Lilian (Caparroz) that I wanted to cancel all my interviews and couldn't travel. After all that, at home, I decided I would not fight at this weight anymore, that I would only fight at my division. And only with 12 weeks' notice. For my last fight, they told me eight weeks before.

I got a call from the UFC offering me another catchweight fight, and I said I would not fight at this weight anymore. I needed a break to get my health back to normal because my body was weak, I was anemic.

After that, they invited me to fight again, but this time at my weight and for the belt, but with 10 weeks' notice. Knowing that I was recovering, like I said, I told them I can fight anyone in March, but I need to take care of my body, and no mention of the fact that I'm dealing with severe depression and can't have another brutal weight cut like before. This decision is more important than the belt or the division, I'm thinking about my health.

I thank my fans. We did it! I'll soon be fighting in my division, where I'm the world champion. You and God are loyal. I'll be ready to fight in March.

Sounds super serious -- definitely better to be safe (and healthy) than, well, dead. To watch her heated argument with Lockhart before her UFC Fight Night 95 main event against Lina Lansberg earlier this year click here.

Meanwhile, with Cyborg ready to fight in March, the question now seems to be is UFC willing to play ball after getting shut down twice. Nevertheless, the promotion has four events scheduled for March 2017, including a UFC Fight Night 107 event in Brazil.

Third time is the charm.

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