Tuesday, July 5, 2022

PFL Becomes Latest Promotion To Join Cyborg Sweepstakes

As expected, Cris Cyborg has no shortage of suitors following her messy split with the UFC.

The former UFC women’s featherweight champion became embroiled in a bitter exit from the world’s MMA leader following her win over Felicia Spencer at July 27’s UFC 240. The bout was the last fight on her UFC contract. With discord between the sides reaching a boiling point, their business relationship was ultimately ended.

Cyborg’s team released a video of a backstage discussion she had with Dana White at UFC 240. It appeared his words were edited poorly and twisted. Cyborg later admitted that and apologized for it. That came shortly after White had proclaimed they were ‘out of the Cyborg business.’ Even though he left the door open for discussion, Cyborg acknowledged she would move on.

With such a high-profile star available, suitors didn’t take long to arise. Bellator MMA president Scott Coker was quick to express his interest in the all-time great. ONE’s CEO effused praise for Cyborg as well. Now, Professional Fighter’s League (PFL) is throwing their name into the hat. PFL president Ray Sefo recently told MMA Fighting that the promotion is ‘absolutely’ interested in Cyborg. He confirmed they were talking to her team:

“Absolutely, we’re interested in Cris Cyborg. Cris Cyborg is a legend. She’s been around a long time and she’s been a champion for many years. A champion in different organizations. Our team is talking to her team and hopefully, we can make something happen.

“She’s in a situation where she’s shopping right now. She’s probably talking to Bellator, ONE FC and so on, so we’ll see. For her, I would love to sign her but we’ll just have to wait and see how that all pans out.”

Smaller Weight Cut In PFL

One thing PFL has to offer that other promotions do not is their recently added women’s lightweight division. That’s where their biggest star, Olympic judo medalist Kayla Harrison, competes. Former Strikeforce champ Sarah Kaufman is in the division as well. Sefo pointed to the footage out there showing Cyborg in pain cutting weight, suggesting that PFL’s new weight class would be perfect for her:

“I’ve seen some of the “Embedded” stuff that she was on and it looks like she’s suffering when cutting weight. So her at 155 [pounds] would be very dangerous. Listen, ultimately that’s her decision and at some point that decision is going to be made. I think everybody is looking forward to where she ends up.”

A bout between Cyborg and Harrison has been oft-discussed in MMA circles ever since Harrison made her pro debut. Harrison told MMA Fighting she welcomes the challenge and implored Cyborg to meer her in PFL:

“Absolutely. Come on down, Cris. It would be great. Listen, whether or not she loses to Amanda [Nunes], she’s still one of the greatest and to be the greatest, you’ve got to beat one of the greatest. So I’m happy to take that fight on, I’m happy to climb that mountain and take on that challenge.

“Right now, I’m going to focus on winning this season and hopefully Cris decides to slide on over to the PFL.”

Is PFL the right landing spot for MMA’s most prized free agent Cris Cyborg?

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