Former UFC women’s featherweight champion Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino is in a bit of a strange spot.
Long respected as the most dangerous female fighter in MMA, Justino was shockingly knocked out by new double champion Amanda Nunes at 2018’s UFC 232. She hoped to get an immediate rematch with ‘The Lioness’ because of her storied track record. However, Nunes chose to defend her women’s bantamweight title against Holly Holm at this weekend’s UFC 239 from Las Vegas.
So Cyborg was dealt a bout against rising star Felicia Spencer, who submitted Megan Anderson with ease in her UFC debut earlier this year. Justino will take on Spencer at July 27’s UFC 240 from Canada. It’s the last fight on her UFC contract, and she’s not sure where she’ll end up. With the discord between her and the UFC a well-known fact, Cyborg recently told MMA Fighting there isn’t anything personal. To her, it’s just business:
“My career has had highs and lows, but I think that helps us to become more mature, to get better as a person, to learn, and to be an example for others,” Cyborg said. “There’s nothing personal between the UFC and I. I see it as business, so the decisions we make, that I make, what will happen, certainly will be something good for me. I’m not thinking about it right now, I really am focused on my next fight.”
Focused On Just One Thing
As a veteran of fighting, Cyborg has fought for many promotions. She believes that has gained her a loyal following of fans who will watch her no matter where she is. So while she may or may not fight for the UFC in the future, she’s only focused on her upcoming bout:
“I’ve fought for many promotions. EliteXC, Strikeforce champion, Invicta FC champion, the UFC, and I think the UFC is no different from the other promotions I’ve fought for before. It made my career and history stronger. Everybody already knew who Cris Cyborg was before I went to the UFC so, in reality, I brought my fans with me when I went to fight in the UFC. (My fans) campaigned to have me fighting in the UFC, and I’m happy with that.
“My story doesn’t end, of course. It will continue. Just like I’ve been in many promotions, I might continue fighting in the UFC… Right now I’m focused on my next fight, which is the most important thing for me at the moment.”
Nunes Rematch Isn’t Only Thing For Cyborg
As for her rematch with Nunes, Cyborg said she asked for it right after the loss. Nunes and UFC President Dana White said Cyborg turned it down when it was offered. She’s not hung up on it and won’t let it affect her historic legacy. She believes everyone knows that as well. Cyborg closed by saying there was still more to come for her in fighting:
“The first thing I did after my last fight was ask for a rematch,” Cyborg said. “I asked Dana White and he publicly said he wouldn’t give me an immediate rematch. Amanda Nunes also said maybe after two years, so life goes on. That won’t stop my legacy or stop my work.
“If (this fight) has to happen, it will happen. It doesn’t depend only on me. If it did, it would have happened already because it was the first thing I asked after the fight. Everybody knows that doesn’t change my legacy. I lost the first of my career and that only made me stronger to get where I am, and I believe there’s much more to come.”
Will Cris Cyborg continue her MMA career in the UFC after fighting Spencer?