UFC 240’s Cris Cyborg: You Don’t Have to Love the Boss, But Respect is Key

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Cris Cyborg  voiced some of her issues with Dana White once again following UFC 240, and is concerned there are no featherweights left for the promotion to sign.

Edmonton, AB — And then there were none. No fights remaining on Cris Cyborg’s UFC contract. The former UFC women’s featherweight champion fought out her contract Saturday at UFC 240. She now sits, assuming she doesn’t immediately re-sign with the organization, as the biggest free agent name on the market, once any exclusive negotiation window with the UFC expires.

Her final fight, if that’s what it was, wasn’t what anyone expected. Upstart Felicia Spencer entered the night 7-0, a sacrificial lamb according to some. Those who slept on ‘The Feenom’ got a surprise, however: a game, tough fighter with plenty of heart and a granite chin. She ate the best Cyborg had to offer, landed heavy shots of her own, threw some nasty elbows, and split open a gash on the ex-champ that had her bleeding badly for the first time in her career.

Cyborg still took home the win, mind you. But it went the distance, and she looked mortal. Discussing the win, and cut, following the fight with media outlets including Cageside Press, Cris Cyborg said that “the first thing I was thinking, I don’t want to stop the fight because of a cut.” Her only real concern was that the doctor might wave it off. Instead, despite getting her forehead split open early, the fight was allowed to go the distance.

White, earlier in the post-fight press conference, said he wants a rematch with Amanda Nunes and Cyborg to happen next. Cyborg seems to be taking a cautious approach, though she’s clear that she wants that fight to happen. She even had T-Shirts made to promote it, but the UFC made her take hers off.

“I have a lot of things going on, I have a lot of issues with the UFC,” the Brazilian said Saturday. “I won’t complain about anything, but [we] don’t have just the fight.”

“The people in the media don’t see the things inside. But a lot of things have to work for me to continue to stay,” Cyborg continued. Among them, her relationship with the boss. “Everybody knows I don’t have the best and the greatest relationship with the UFC. I don’t have the best relationship with Dana White.”

“He’s bullied me around, bullied me on the Internet,” she said of the promotion’s president. “I’m still suffering bullying everywhere because of this. I have a daughter, I have a father, and I don’t think it’s nice, this. [White] never ever says ‘I’m sorry’ for me, anything about this. Just this continues. It’s not finished. Like saying I’m scared to fight Amanda Nunes, saying I don’t want to fight her. This is [a] liar.”

Beyond that, it’s also damaging her public image, she suggested. “This is not helping growing my brand.” Rather, said Cyborg, “this is damaging my brand. To keep working for a promotion, I don’t want somebody who will damage my brand. I want to grow it together. Because [of that] I’m going to have to take my time and see what’s going to be better for me.”

Not everyone loves their boss, of course. On that, Cyborg agrees. “You don’t have to love the boss,” she said. However, “you just have to have respect between both. I think this is making everything work together.”

Another factor in where Cyborg ends up is the lack of competition in the women’s featherweight division within the confines of the UFC. To date, you can count the number of female UFC 145lb’ers on one hand. Which has made it hard for a fighter like Cyborg to stay busy.

“I would like to fight more than one fight a year, for sure. I waited nine months to fight Amanda Nunes after Holly Holm,” she told Cageside Press. “This is no good for a fighter. It’s good to be active, training, fighting, this is the good thing.”

White said the promotion will be committing to the division moving forward. The problem, Cyborg suggested, is that “I don’t think they have any girls free now at 145. I think maybe all the girls are in Bellator, PFL. I don’t think any girls are free now at 45 to sign.”

Watch the full UFC 240 post-fight press conference with Cris Cyborg above.

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