While fighting Amanda Nunes isn’t Cris Cyborg’s first option, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s Featherweight champion of the world isn’t completely opposed to facing off against her fellow countrywomen and reigning bantamweight queen.
It just has to be at a mega-event that will feature other big stars that can pull in pay-per-view (PPV) buys. And it’s not because she doesn’t have faith in her own drawing power, but rather that of Amanda’s, as her title fight at UFC 215 against Valentina Schevchenko was one of the worst performances for UFC in 2017.
“I want to fight her on a big event, big card,” Cyborg said on The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting). “Big card that can sell pay-per-views. Amanda, she did almost 100,000. She’s not changing my career at 145 or anything beating her, and she don’t sell pay-per-view. Okay, ‘superfight,’ she’s not [Conor] McGregor.”
And she is no Holly Holm, either, as Cris’s fight against “The Preacher’s Daughter” -- which headlined UFC 219 on Dec. 30, 217 -- did very well at the box office. Still, Cris says those numbers could have been a lot better if only UFC had more time to promote the title fight a bit more.
But there is more to it than just drawing eyeballs, as Cris doesn’t see Nunes as a legit contender for the 145-pound strap given her lackluster performances in the past.
“I don’t think Amanda is a big draw,” Cyborg said. “One thing when I was world champ in Strikeforce, Amanda start training, start punching bag. They say [she was] supposed to fight 145, no. Amanda never could get close to fight for the belt at 145 in Strikeforce. Alex Davis beat her, TKO, Cat Zingano beat her. She’s had a lot of fights she’s supposed to do now, but, what has she done at 145?”
And there’s also this.
Nevertheless, Cyborg is holding steady in her preference to face Nunes at a mega-card, possibly during International Fight Week in July. If not, then she can fight anybody else and do the exact same numbers she would facing Nunes.
“They can call this fight a ‘superfight,’ Cyborg said. “You can fight anyone and make six numbers, you know? But okay, if [Dana White] likes to do a big event and big card, okay, let’s do July. Let’s do Las Vegas.”