Cris Cyborg is leaving the door open for a return to mixed martial arts (MMA) ahead of her professional boxing debut this weekend, but don’t ever expect the combat legend to step foot inside of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Octagon ever again.
Cyborg, who is widely considered one of the best female fighters of all time, had a nasty break with UFC back in 2019 following her decision win over Felicia Spencer at UFC 240. This came seven months after her legendary knockout loss to Amanda Nunes for the UFC women’s featherweight title. UFC president Dana White eventually released Cyborg from her contract and labeled her a “nightmare to deal with.”
After departing UFC, Cyborg quickly found a home with Bellator MMA. Being familiar with Bellator president, Scott Coker, made the move quite seamless. Cyborg was happy, able to earn more money, and dominated the competition for a 5-0 record and a Bellator women’s featherweight title.
Cyborg, 37, is now set to make her long-awaited professional boxing debut this weekend at Fight Music Show 2 in Brazil. She will take on Simone Silva, a combat veteran with a 17-22 professional boxing record. It isn’t the most competitive matchup on paper, but it should allow Cyborg to shine in front of a wild Brazilian crowd.
While Cyborg is leaving her options open after this weekend and more than willing to make a return to MMA, she made it perfectly clear that a UFC comeback is not part of her potential plans.
“That chapter is closed,” Cyborg told MMA Junkie. “They really don’t want to make the fights they want me to make, and they really don’t want to pay the fighters. So, if they start to pay the fighters, then maybe we can sit down, but I believe I have to think about my future than just think about my ego.”
What do you think, fight fans? Can the relationship between Cyborg and UFC be salvaged at this point? Will she ever compete inside of the Octagon again?