The dust has not quite settled on the Dana White vs. Cris Cyborg feud and for good reason. Despite being one of the very best fighters in the world, Cyborg’s rocky relationship with UFC hampered her overall value to the promotion and eventually forced White’s hand in releasing her earlier this month.
UFC’s decision to cut ties with Cyborg obviously didn’t come out of nowhere, but it did come full circle after it was revealed just one week ago that Cyborg’s team tampered with a backstage video captured at UFC 240. That video depicted White saying something to Cyborg that he actually didn’t say as the two discussed what went wrong in booking the Brazilian star a rematch with UFC champion Amanda Nunes.
Cyborg has since issued an apology to White for manipulating his words on tape, but the damage was already done. The Brazilian star had gained the support of fight fans everywhere in her battle with UFC and White, but her team’s decision to tamper with the UFC 240 footage left Cyborg in a very bad spot.
Just ask UFC color commentator Joe Rogan, who recently discussed the incident on an episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
“They f*cked up. Cyborg’s team,” said Rogan. “Whoever did it, whether it’s her boyfriend or whoever it was that edited that video, that lied and put words in his mouth, is so f*cking stupid.
“You don’t think that they’re going to do something about that? You’re out of your goddamn mind. When they edited that video to say that “whenever I’m talking in public I’m not telling the truth,” which is not what he said at all, and then to have it edited and cut right there…”
While Rogan is entitled to his own opinion, it should be noted that he and Cyborg have had a rough past as well. The commentator/comedian made a disrespectful joke about Cyborg back in 2015 before she ever entered UFC competition. Rogan later apologized for his comments but things never seemed to be right between the two, especially considering Cyborg accused Rogan and Jon Anik for offering bias commentary during her fight with Felicia Spencer at UFC 240 last month.
The two commentators have since denied the accusation but it’s yet another issue with Cyborg that has surfaced since the conclusion of her last fight.
“But also they did was they’re bringing back shit that happened five years ago,” Rogan said. “Cyborg was saying she wanted an apology from me. And I don’t think it was that she wanted an apology from me, I think it was her boyfriend or someone on the team. I apologized to her, me and her, no one around, face to face, and I took a photo with her afterwards. There’s a photo of me and her on my Instagram.
“She started fighting in the UFC. She hadn’t fought in the UFC before and I said, ‘Hey, I’m sorry about the jokes. I promise no more jokes,’ and I said, ‘I’m actually a fan of yours and I want you to succeed in the UFC and I wish you the best of luck.’ I go, ‘ No hard feelings?’
“She goes, ‘No, those jokes kind of hurt my feelings.’
“I said, ‘I’m sorry. No more jokes.’ I gave her a hug. We took a picture together.”
Former UFC fighter Brendan Schaub, who was also in studio for Rogan’s podcast, believes that Cyborg’s willingness to go to bat with UFC in the public eye was the worst thing she could have done.
“I like Cyborg, a nice person,” Schaub said. “And I don’t think Cyborg’s a bad person. I think her management and the way they’ve handled things have completely f*cked her. I think her going to battle with the UFC was the worst thing and it’s not her.”
At this point, given the tampered video and UFC 240 aftermath stemming from team Cyborg, both parties are to blame for the falling out. It seems as if White and UFC did enough damage to Cyborg in the early going that prevented the former featherweight champion from reconciling anything there was left to reconcile.
Cyborg will now be looking for employment elsewhere and likely won’t have trouble finding it, as UFC moves forward without one of the best female fighters of all time.