UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg held an open workout Wednesday ahead of UFC 232 later this month, and addressed opponent Amanda Nunes, the latest season of TUF, and more.
Huntington Beach, CA — UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg hasn’t fought since March, where she defeated ex-Invicta bantamweight champion Yana Kunitskaya at UFC 222. Up next, she’ll face another bantamweight champion: Amanda Nunes, the current UFC 135lb queen. It’s a shot at a second title for Nunes, but Cyborg’s size and strength has many believing she’ll have the advantage.
At an open workout Wednesday ahead of UFC 232 on December 29, Cyborg address talk of her size advantage, telling Cageside Press that “I don’t read anything what people write. I don’t check anything.”
“I really don’t try to see anything that talks about my opponent. I just focus on my training. If she’s small, she’s big, she challenged me and said she’s going to be ready.” Cyborg said. “If she’s coming from 135 to 145, for me it doesn’t matter. She fought before at 145, and I think she’s going to be ready, and I think it’ll be a great fight.”
There’s been plenty of talk that this could be the last, or one of the last, UFC bouts for Cyborg, who began her career way back in 2005, and has not been defeated since her debut. Cyborg clarified that “I have one more fight, not this one, I have another one after.” But when it comes to renegotiating her deal and whether she’ll be in the UFC to stay, the featherweight champ said that “I let my manager take care of this. For now, I’m really happy for this opportunity to fight again at the end of the year. Same as I did with Holly. I think it’s going to be a great end of the year too.”
Cyborg later addressed the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter. TUF 28 featured women’s featherweights, at least in theory. In practice, many of the “featherweights” on the show were natural bantamweights who had moved up.
“They had a lot of girls who were 135’ers, not just 145. They cut a lot of girls who were 145 from the show,” she recalled. “It made me really sad because, you know, I went there, and I met a lot of girls, I think they had 31 girls there. And they had a lot of girls from 145, and cut them, because they couldn’t make 145 — I don’t know.” Clearly disappointed with the decision to focus on smaller females, Cyborg then gave credit to Invicta FC’s Shannon Knapp for opening the door to women’s featherweights.
As for fighters outside the UFC, Cyborg admits that she sometimes keeps an eye on them, but doesn’t always like to watch fights in her time off. “I think Julia Budd is a really good fighter, maybe we can do champ against champ,” Cyborg suggested. Budd, of course, is Bellator’s 145lb champion, so that remains unlikely.
Asked about Olympic gold medalist and PFL star Kayla Harrison calling her out, Cyborg said that “Kayla, she talks about me, but she has more [than] five fights on her contract. People like to talk when they’re not available for fights. Maybe when she’s available, she can start to talk, and then we can fight.”
Check out Cris Cyborg’s open workout below. UFC 232 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV on December 29.