Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino made headlines after her recent appearance on FOX Sports 1’s Speak For Yourself, where she claimed she wasn’t given the same superstar treatment that Ronda Rousey was by the UFC because she doesn’t have “blonde hair and blue eyes,” and during his appearance on the same program this week, UFC President Dana White responded to the claims.
When asked if her looks plays any part in the way the company promotes the reigning Invicta FC Featherweight Champion, White was adament that they do not.
“Let me ask you a question: what makes somebody a star?” White said this week. “What has been done with Ronda [Rousey] that hasn’t been done with Cyborg, as far as being a star? Ronda is a world champion, had the belt and everything else. We don’t have a belt in that [Featherweight] division. We don’t have that weight division for Cyborg … because there aren’t enough good women at 145 pounds to create an entire division.”
Regarding Cyborg’s claims that there are enough women to create and develop a new weight class at 145 pounds, White insisted that unlike the Brazilian fighter, he actually knows what the landscape looks like.
“I actually run the business, I actually know what’s going on. She can say it’s B.S. (that there aren’t enough women). I actually know.”
As far as the talk of a potential Rousey-Cyborg super fight materializing now that Rousey is back in the fight game and Cyborg is finally under contract with the UFC, White pointed out that although it is a more likely possibility now than it was in the past, Rousey still has to go out and defeat the reigning UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Amanda Nunes, at UFC 207 in December.
“The reality is this: Cris Cyborg is devastatingly good,” White continued. “She’s been destroying everybody right now. Her popularity is actually starting to go [up]. She’s getting bigger. Everybody wants it right here, right now. It doesn’t happen that way. I promise you this, Ronda has to come in and fight on December 30th. Okay? Ronda has to win, and the girl that she’s fighting is no pushover. She’s nasty and tough and Ronda’s got a fight on her hands there.”
White concluded, “She wins that fight, her and Cris Cyborg are eventually going to fight. Ronda wants that fight. It will be the biggest pay-per-view in UFC history.”
H/T to MMAFighting.com for transcribing the above Dana White interview.