Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight champion, Cristiane Justino, has one bout remaining on her mixed martial arts (MMA) contract, and was hoping to use it for an Amanda Nunes rematch
in two years later this year.
“Lioness” upset “Cyborg” at the UFC 232 pay-per-view (PPV) event last month in California, becoming the first women’s “champ-champ” in UFC history. She’s likely to move back down to bantamweight for her next fight, where she can once again fit into those skinny jeans.
That means Justino can take another fight in hopes that UFC is willing to hang onto a featherweight division, or she can part ways with the Endeavor-owned promotion and try her luck on the international circuit.
”If they decide to remove my division, and remove me from the UFC and let me go, I think the UFC would be losing with that, and the promotion that signs me would be winning,” Cyborg told PVT (via MMA Fighting). “The UFC is a great platform to continue (building) my division. I think that even Amanda felt good at 145, other fighters have as well, because they don’t hurt (their bodies) that much, but that’s out of my control. My manager will meet them and see what’s the next step, but if they decide to remove the division, I will definitely continue shining somewhere else, like I’ve always done. Let’s see what happens.”
Unfortunately for the Brazilian, she held all the cards going into her final title defense. She was originally signed by UFC because ... well, there wasn’t much choice. Justino was destroying opponents in smaller promotions and fans were responding. One thing about smart business is you never leave money on the table.
The investment certainly paid off here.
It’s slim pickings at 145 pounds, though one fight that would make sense — and was already on the books at one point — is a Megan Anderson showdown, assuming the Aussie doesn’t get called back for this do-over.