Today, news came (although not surprisingly) that the UFC and Cris Cyborg are done doing business with one another.
UFC President Dana White confirmed as much today in a video interview posted to the UFC’s YouTube. In it, he said he would release the free-agent star and not match any offers she got from different promotions:
“Message received, I get it, I’m gonna release her from her contract. I will not match any other offers. She is free and clear to go to Bellator or any of these other organizations and fight these easy fights that she wants. Done. Done deal. I will literally today have my lawyer draft a letter to her team that she is free and clear to go wherever she wants. We’re out of the Cyborg business.”
Incorrectly Edited Video
The writing was on the wall following Cyborg’s win over Felicia Spencer in the UFC 240 co-main last weekend. That was Cyborg’s last fight on her contract. She had some demanding terms to re-sign with the UFC and rematch Amanda Nunes. She also released a controversial confrontation video of her and White backstage at UFC 240, which was met with much controversy. Miesha Tate claimed the video was poorly edited with subtitles to make it look like White admitted he was lying.
Tonight, Cyborg has admitted it was. In a statement posted to her Instagram, Cyborg admitted her production team had edited the video to put incorrect subtitles in the posts:
“Hey guys, I know that many people saw the video of my confrontation with Dana White after UFC 240 that was posted on my official YouTube channel, Twitter account and Instagram account. I want to let everyone know that the video was edited by my Production Team to make it appear as though Dana told me “and listen whenever you hear me saying stuff, I’m not saying …the truth.” Dana did not say that to me, and the subtitles in the video were incorrect.”
Pride In Being Honest
Cyborg clarified what White actually said in the conversation. She wants to stand up for herself in situations where she feels her character was misrepresented but also wanted to be completely honest as well. She ultimately apologized to White and admitted she was wrong before saying she would address it with her production team:
“As you can see from the unedited video, Dana actually said “and listen, whenever you hear me saying stuff, I’m not saying negative things about you.” Dana and I have had many disagreements during my career in the UFC, and I have been adamant about standing up for myself in situations where I feel my character and statements have been misrepresented and used against me.
“But I also take pride in being an honest person and a true professional. I take full responsibility for the actions that resulted in the edited video being posted on my social media accounts. We were wrong, and I have addressed this issue with my Production Team so that it doesn’t ever happen again in the future. Finally, I want to apologize to Dana White for posting the video. Even though we will continue to disagree about numerous issues, I will always stand up for doing what is right.”
There are quite a few layers to this. The timing of Cyborg apologizing to the UFC’s public face is a bit interesting considering she had basically been released on the internet after years of discord. She had many in the court of public opinion feeling for her. Perhaps this is an attempt to sway more to her side. Perhaps she realized she squandered a chance to re-sign with the UFC by playing hardball, but that’s unlikely.
Or perhaps she just wants to end things on as good of terms as possible as she moves on to new opportunities. She will have many soon. She already has a major one she may accept. The incorrectly edited video certainly could have been a motivating reason White approached the decision as aggressively as he did.
Or maybe, just maybe, Cyborg offered White the public apology she wanted but knew she’d never get from him.
What’s your take?