Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Cris Cyborg Reacts to UFC Making Featherweight Title Fight Without Her

Tuesday was, if nothing else, a day of mixed emotions for Cristiane Cyborg Justino. During the afternoon, she experienced the high of gaining United States citizenship in a ceremony held in her adopted hometown of Los Angeles. A few hours later, that was followed by the low of the announcement that the inaugural UFC Women’s Featherweight Championship fight at UFC 208 will not involve her, instead pitting Holly Holm against Germaine de Randamie.

Unsurprisingly, she’s not exactly thrilled, as she told MMAFighting’s Guilherme Cruz. While she’s “happy the UFC created my division” after “11 years [that] I’m fighting for women to have the same rights as men with several divisions,” her happiness with the development ends there. “Everybody knows I’m the featherweight champion. “I’m undefeated for 10 years in my division. They put this belt only to sell the fight for the new MMA fans. For an example, Holly is coming off two consecutive losses and will fight for the belt. The real fight fans know what’s real.”

When asked if she is optimistic about fighting the Holm-de Randamie, Justino wasn’t getting her hopes up. “I have no idea, there are no rules in MMA,” she said. “The last fight in the men’s 145-pound division, a 10-0 fighter fought a guy who was 1-5 in his last fights. Other fighters like me have to wait for a title fight. I’m fighting for my division for 10 years, and until yesterday Dana said there were no women. This is our reality.”

Justino had been offered fights with both fighters on the same card, citing the need for a longer camp the make the weight properly after her last cut, to 140 pounds, caused health problems. Realistically speaking, Holm pretty much turned down the fight, as she would only agree to a bout at 138 pounds, even lower than the 140 pound mark Cyborg is no longer willing to cut to. Germaine de Randamie, however, was fully on board for a 145 pound title fight with Cyborg.

Cyborg is still technically the Invicta FC Featherweight Champion, and was not defending the title as of late while the promotion attempted to build new challengers. She had been competing in Invicta while under UFC contract, with the latter covering her fight purses.

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