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22nd Nov 2016

UFC superstar Cyborg finally puts the foot down regarding the weight class issue

Ben Kiely

Arguably the greatest female fighter in the UFC isn’t allowed to fight at her preferred weight class, because eh… reasons.

Expectations were high for Invicta featherweight champion Cristiane Justino when she signed for the UFC and so far she has more than lived up them.

Cyborg entered into the world’s largest MMA promotion with a reputation as a knockout monster. Since dropping her professional debut via submission, she has pretty much annihilated every opponent she’s faced, racking up 15 knockouts and only hearing the final buzzer twice in her career, with her most recent division coming in 2008.

The UFC were quick to realise that they had a valuable commodity on their hands following her sensational promotional debut against Leslie Smith, so they made her a headline act for her second outing against Lina Landsberg, which also ended with fireworks.

Although the big wigs clearly want Cyborg on their books, they aren’t making life easy for the Brazilian knockout monster. The natural 145-er has been forced to cut to 140 lbs for both of her UFC bouts, and she struggled to make weight both times.

During a recent interview with Submission Radio, Cyborg admitted she is fed up killing herself trying to make 140 lbs and she doesn’t envisage herself taking another catchweight contest any time soon. She wants to fight at her actual weight class again, and she’d only be willing to cut that much weight again if it was for a legitimate super fight.

“You know, the first time I made 140 in Brazil, Curitiba, the first time I did it was because it would be in my city. And then second reason was because it was UFC Brazil. The main thing is to do is open an opportunity, maybe to do super fight with Ronda Rousey at 140. And I just showed them that I can make 140 for a super fight. And my second fight was supposed to be 145, I was supposed to be to defend my belt. And then again, I had the opportunity to fight 140 in Brazil.”

Although Cyborg didn’t take any of her past opponents lightly, she admitted being frustrated about being matched up against fighters who aren’t household names. She’s made it clear that if she’s going to make all those sacrifices, she wants the pay-off to be the biggest fights possible.

“And I really respect all my opponents, but the girl in my last fight (Lina Lansberg), nobody knows her, and she’s had like 70 Muay Thai fights. She’s a really, really good opponent, but for me to sacrifice to make 140, I’d like a super fight. You know, something the fans would like to watch. Because my last opponent, her last win was at 145 pounds.”

“And then sometimes, I don’t see it’s worth making 140 to make a fight like this. If you want a super fight, doesn’t matter the weight – It can be 150, can be 155, 145. But the thing is, I cannot kill myself at the time to make 140 for a normal fight.”