Cris Cyborg returned from her stunning 51-second knockout loss to Amanda Nunes with a pretty solid performance over up-and-coming prospect Felicia Spencer at UFC 240. Nothing too spectacular, especially by Cyborg standards. There was no brutal knockout of her own. But, she did piece up Spencer for the majority of the 15 minutes they shared the cage together (watch the higlights here). It was more a testament to Spencer’s toughness that the fight made it to a decision rather than ending with a finish.
But, when you take on someone as green as Spencer and you have such a reputation as a violent finisher, anything less than full blown destruction could be seen as a disappointing result. That seems to be how UFC President Dana White is looking at things. White has never been the biggest Cris Cyborg booster, and with her contract up he’s now in full-blown burying mode.
All the headlines leading up to the fight were about White questioning whether Cyborg really wanted to fight Nunes again, and his post-event interview with ESPN was no different ... if a bit more dismissive of the current state of Cyborg’s fighting career. When Brett Okamoto asked if an Nunes rematch was in the cards, here’s what White said:
”That’s up to Cris,” he replied. “Amanda Nunes has been blowing me up all night, she’s like, ‘Get her to take this fight, get her to take this fight!’ And I know every time I speak, Cyborg thinks I’m speaking negatively about her, which I’m not. I’m just speaking facts. After watching her fight tonight and after her last fight, I don’t blame her for not wanting to fight Amanda Nunes. If that was Amanda Nunes in there tonight ....”
”Cyborg’s been around for a long time,” White continued. “I think, in my honest opinion, Cyborg sees herself in the twilight of her career. I think she’d like some easier fights. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Many fighters have left here to move on to easier fights and there’s nothing wrong with that. When you get to a certain age and a certain point in your career and you look like Cris looked tonight ... if that was Amanda Nunes, it’s a whole different ball game.”
”I don’t blame her for that. I’m not criticizing her for that. But, these are facts, and the fact is I will make the fight if she wants to fight Amanda. And Amanda wants the fight.”
What do you think of White’s facts, Maniacs?