Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, is no different than any other combat sports promoter in that he’s not in the business of one-fight contracts, particularly where championship title fights are concerned.
That’s because a fighter can win the strap, then depart for another organization, retire from cage fighting, or simply hold out for a ridiculous amount of money. In all three scenarios, the belt is held hostage and the rest of the division suffers.
And White has already been burned once before.
But in the case of Cristiane Justino, whose contract expires after her UFC 240 co-main event against Felicia Spencer, White is willing to make an exception. If “Cyborg” manages to beat Amanda Nunes in their 145-pound rematch, she gets locked into a new deal that has no effect on the women’s featherweight division.
“Obviously, if we’re trying to make the Amanda Nunes fight, we’re trying to get a new deal done, too. It’s not like we’re trying to chase her out,” White told reporters at the UFC 240 media day (via MMA Fighting). “We’re trying to get something done, we’re trying to get another fight or if she wanted to, she could do a one-fight deal and fight Amanda. She wouldn’t be a free agent [if she won]. She’d have the belt and there’s a clause that goes along with the belt. So it wouldn’t really be a [one-fight deal].”
Clear as mud.
If “Lioness” is able to replicate her dominant performance from UFC 232, then Justino can be on her merry way, sans title, sans contract. If she can’t, then
Scott Coker will weep Nunes can drop back down to 135 pounds to defend that title later this year.
Kind of like Max Holloway, who lost his lightweight title shot against Dustin Poirier before returning to featherweight for a showdown opposite Frankie Edgar, also at UFC 240. There’s really no downside to this, unless you’re Justino.
Who is unlikely to hang around after getting shit on for what seems like an eternity.
Of course, none of this matters unless Justino can get first get past the undefeated Spencer, who has her own plans for the future of the (non-existent) division. They collide this Sat. night (July 27, 2019) inside Rogers Arena in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
To see the entire UFC 240 fight card and line up click here.