Cyborg: “The Best Thing For My Career Was Leaving The UFC”

Bellator Women’s Featherweight Champion Cris Cyborg says that leaving the UFC was the best move for her career in MMA.

The former UFC 145-pound champ left the promotion after seven fights, two title defenses and just one defeat. Having recorded three TKO victories in her opening three Octagon walks, Cyborg defeated Tonya Evinger to win gold at UFC 214. Successful defenses against Holly Holm and Yana Kunitskaya established the Brazilian as one of the most dominant women in the sport.

Cyborg’s fourth championship fight provided one of the most memorable moments in UFC history, albeit not in the way that the champ would have hoped for. After less than a minute of their fight at UFC 232, Amanda Nunes knocked out Cyborg to capture the title.

After rebounding against Felicia Spencer seven months later, Cyborg left the UFC and signed with Bellator. Her perfect 3-0 record with the promotion has seen the 35-year-old with a belt around her waist again.

Having previously said that she felt like a “slave” under contract with the UFC, Cyborg has continued to express her happiness since signing with Bellator and interacting with president, Scott Coker.

While speaking with Ag. Fight, Cyborg explained what makes working with Coker so much better than it was with UFC president Dana White.

“We (me and Scott Coker) are working partners. We both want to grow together. So it works. The relationship that I had with Dana White and that a lot of athletes have, you see Jon Jones, it’s not a partnership. People want to take advantage of other athletes. Without the athletes, the event doesn’t happen.” (H/T UOL Esporte)

Cyborg added that not negotiating a new contract with the UFC was the best move for her career.

“The best thing for my career was leaving the UFC. I have another thought and direction for my future. Anything connected with me, Dana White will get in trouble, because he doesn’t like people who fight him. people who say amen to him and I’m not like that. I have my principles and I follow them. It’s difficult to work with people like that. You don’t have to accept, but respect.”

Cyborg Dana
Image Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The feud between Cyborg and White has become pretty apparent since the Brazilian parted ways with the leading MMA promotion. White even reportedly blocked a grappling match between Cyborg and Miesha Tate.

Nevertheless, Cyborg will look to remain focused on her continuing success in Bellator. Having defended her featherweight title against Leslie Smith at Bellator 259 in May, the Brazilian will look to record her third defense next time out.

Do you think leaving the UFC was the right decision for Cris Cyborg?