The former UFC women’s featherweight champion recently said as much following weeks of public discord between her and the UFC. When her UFC contract was up after her UFC 240 win over Felicia Spencer, Cyborg began publicly airing all her gripes with the UFC. First, she demanded some highly unlikely terms for her oft-discussed rematch with Amanda Nunes.
Then, she criticized both UFC President Dana White and Octagon commentator Joe Rogan for their past language against her. Rogan’s commentary of her UFC 240 win was also called into question by Cyborg. Ultimately, the MMA personality stood by his calling of the fight. That didn’t matter much in terms of this situation, however. Cyborg and her production team posted a video of her having a backstage discussion with White at UFC 240. The last moment of what White said appeared to be poorly twisted for airtime.
White soon proclaimed the UFC was ‘out of the Cyborg business’ and wouldn’t match any offers. Although Cyborg rapidly apologized for the video editing before White left the door open a crack for her to return, she appears set to move on.
Cyborg ‘Humanized’ In UFC
When she does, one prominent MMA personality thinks she’ll face the unknown of fighting without her aura of unstoppability. That may not necessarily be a bad thing, however. Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate was one of the first to call out the backstage video from UFC 240.
Now, she’s back with some more encouraging words for Cyborg, although they may not seem that way at first. Speaking on her radio show “MMA Tonight” on SiriusXM (transcribed via BJPENN.com), Tate said Cyborg was finally ‘humanized’ during her UFC run when Nunes knocked her out at UFC 232. For Tate, that is now a chance for Cyborg to rebound stronger:
“I think I will remember it as the time when she was humanized.
“And I don’t mean that as any kind of put-down for Cyborg. I actually look at it as her opportunity to come back stronger. But she was invincible for so long and when people are invincible for so long, you start to notice the time when they finally fall.”
Great Chance To Bounce Back
Tate moved on to compare Cyborg’s current plight to that of former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. He, too, seemed to be invincible during his record-breaking streak of title defenses. Yet he also lost his UFC title last year and moved on to ONE Championship to recreate his career. Cyborg now has the same opportunity to accomplish her own return. It’s always smooth sailing on a win streak, the former UFC champion claimed. Tate then offered her belief that when a fighter who was viewed as unstoppable comes back to redeem themselves is when it truly gets interesting:
“And she has a great chance like how [Demetrious Johnson does], right? After a long reign. It’s almost refreshing to see somebody lose one time just so you could see how they come back from it. That’s where the story really begins, that’s where it gets interesting. I always say winning is easy, losing is where you see the true character of somebody and the ability to adapt, come back, learn, get stronger.
“And that’s I think what we saw against Felicia Spencer. She’s on the road to recovery. She’s redeeming herself. Now she’s a free agent. It gets really interesting from here on out.”
Other Promotions & Cyborg’s Legacy
Indeed it could, yet the fact that Cyborg is going to another promotion outside of the UFC automatically means she won’t be facing as high a caliber of opponents. You may have a serious problem with White and Rogan’s treatment of Cyborg in the past. It would be hard to argue with anyone who did from certain views. But the fact she won’t rematch Nunes does, unfortunately, support White’s narrative that Cyborg was somehow looking for a way out of that fight.
Either way, Cyborg will get the fresh start she wants, and it’s on her to reinvent herself after that aura of invincibility is gone. She’ll always be one of the greats in women’s MMA; that will never change. However, fans could begin to wonder if fighting lesser names outside the UFC will truly add to that already historic legacy.
Does Cyborg really have anything left to prove in promotions other than the UFC?