UFC superstar Cyborg reveals why she rejected two opportunities to fight for soon to be introduced title
The UFC are finally putting plans in place to build a new women's featherweight division around Cyborg.
Since signing for the big leagues, Cristiane Justino has yet to fight at her preferred weight class.
Arguably the P4P greatest female fighter on the planet impressed so much in her sensational promotional debut against Leslie Smith that she was rewarded with a headliner for her second outing against Lina Landsberg. Both 140 lb catchweight fights ended with fireworks, but the victor struggled to make weight both times.
Cyborg has been calling for the UFC to introduce a new women's featherweight division for a while so that she would no longer have to endure such a dangerous cut before stepping inside the Octagon. Speaking on a recent episode of UFC Unfiltered, president Dana White dropped the bombshell that the promotion did offer her that opportunity twice, but both times the Brazilian turned down the offer.
"What’s crazy about that is this (is) I offered Cris Cyborg a title fight at 145 pounds about a month ago. She had eight weeks to get ready for it. She said she couldn't make the weight."
"Then I offered her another 145-pound title fight for Brooklyn. She turned it down. She turned down two 145-pound title fights."
White explained that Cyborg was offered to fight for the soon to be introduced strap against former UFC women's bantamweight champion Holly Holm and devastating striker Germaine de Randamie. ESPN's Brett Okamoto confirmed that Holm had accepted a catchweight bout against Cyborg, but negotiations broke down once the offer was changed to 145 lb.
Confirmed with Holly Holm's camp she accepted a Cris Cyborg fight at 138 pounds, but once offer went to 145, talks stalled quickly.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) December 6, 2016
After campaigning so strongly for the promotion to allow her to fight in her own weight division, it seemed unusual that Cyborg said no when the UFC finally offered her what she wanted. However, the knockout artist explained why she turned the offers down in a lengthy statement sent to MMA Fighting
"In my last weight cut I almost died. I was in the bathtub cutting weight, and I thought, ‘I will die in this bathtub.’ It was the worst weight cut in my life."
"For the first time I didn’t warm up in the locker room like I do for every fight because I was too weak."
Cyborg claims she had to cut a whopping 24 lbs in one week for her last UFC outing and that nutritionist George Lockhart didn't do an effective job with the birth control pill that was meant to make the cut easier. She vowed to never work with him again after that.
During her post-fight health check, it became apparent that something was wrong as the nurses were unable to draw blood from her as it was too thick. She was in treatment for 10 days just to recover from the weight cutting process. Cyborg simply wasn't ready to take those fights when offered because she was still feeling the effects of the horrendous cut, but she does plan on taking a UFC featherweight title fight in 2017 when her body has fully recovered.
"They invited me to fight again, but this time at my weight and for the belt, but with 10 weeks’ notice. Knowing that I was recovering, like I said, I told them I can fight anyone in March, but I need to take care of my body, and no mention of the fact that I’m dealing with severe depression and can’t have another brutal weight cut like before. This decision is more important than the belt or the division, I’m thinking about my health."