Cris Cyborg is fresh off her third Bellator title defense. She is dominating in Bellator and she seems to be at her best. Cyborg has had a long MMA career and shows no sign of slowing down. She recently took some time to reflect on her time with the UFC.
“I’m grateful to the UFC for the opportunity, but the fire in my heart was going out there,” Cyborg told AG Fight. It was too uncomfortable, too disrespectful. Bellator put more firewood, I’m happier, I fight more. I have no problem outside (the cage), working with Scott (Coker) is cool, respects the athletes. You have to give yourself respect to be respected. I always respected where I was, but I wasn’t reciprocated in the same way.”
Cyborg joined the UFC after years of longing to do so. She was a force to be reckoned with while she was champion at Invicta FC. At the time many people were calling for Cyborg to come to the UFC and face Ronda Rousey, however, they were not in the same weight class.
After a few catchweight fights, the UFC created the featherweight division and Cyborg eventually won the title. Her tenure there ended with some bad blood between herself and Dana White, so she made the move to Bellator.
“I don’t regret (going to the UFC). I learned a lot in the UFC, it was one more thing to conquer, and being there was something very important. But I already went to the UFC being ‘Cyborg’, the UFC didn’t make me there. I arrived made. I was never welcomed from the start, but my fans campaigned and achieved this along with me. I had good moments.”
Now that she has settled into a rhythm in Bellator, Cyborg is looking to stay as active as possible. She has just defeated Sinead Kavanagh at Bellator 271 a few weeks ago and might have her next opponent all lined up. She has been called out by fellow UFC alum Cat Zingano, to which Cyborg has accepted. With such a dominant career, it is no wonder she is on the top of many peoples, greatest of all-time list.
Do you think Cris Cyborg will ever return to the UFC?