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Cris Cyborg gets a California boxing license as UFC contract draws to a close

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The UFC featherweight’s deal with the UFC runs out in October. Here’s what might be next.

MMA: UFC 214-Cyborg vs Evinger Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Cris Cyborg's future with the UFC continues to be in doubt as the women's featherweight champion has just been granted a California boxing license. According to, Cyborg plans to compete in the 154 pound junior middleweight division.

It's unclear whether she's serious about switching from MMA to boxing, or if this is perhaps just a negotiating tactic as her current UFC contract draws to a close in October. She's certainly been spending some time training the sweet science, as footage from WBC and IBF champ Claressa Shields shows.

But why would Cyborg leave the UFC just when she's finally gotten the belt in a weight class basically created for her? Well, it's important to note that she's been under contract with the UFC since 2015 and it's been a pretty rocky time.

Initially the company kept her in Invicta FC, and then pushed her into 140 pound catchweight fights that messed up her endocrine system. When she was too sick to compete for the inaugural 145 pound championship the promotion staged it between two bantamweights rather than wait for her.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg as far as poor treatment real and imagined by Cyborg.

Then there’s the 145 pound women's division, which seems barely real with no women signed and competing other than Cyborg. With such a half-hearted commitment to her division, it's no wonder Cyborg is currently considering other options when her deal runs out next month. Whether the UFC cares enough to do what it takes to keep her is the big question.