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Brian Stann says Cyborg ‘difficult’ to work with, she fires back insinuating nationalism

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Article Source – bloodyelbow.com

UFC commentator Brian Stann discussed the difficulties he and the UFC have found in working with women’s featherweight dynamo Cris Cyborg.

UFC women’s featherweight Cris Justino, aka “Cyborg,” has found herself mired in controversy frequently throughout the course of her career, with the latest incarnation being approximately six minutes of audio from Brian Stann from his Toe-2-Toe SiriusXM podcast.

The Brazilian superstar has been embroiled in an almost constant battle with the UFC over a variety of issues, including, but not limited to the promotion’s decision to move forward with the first women’s featherweight fight—a title fight—without her. In the weeks since that fight, which saw Germaine de Randamie win the belt, Justino has taken to social media to fire off posts directed at the UFC:

Stann addressed the situation in a recent episode of his podcast:

“I agree with Cyborg in terms of her Invicta fights. If we (found) a way to have put her on the undercard or other portions instead of Invicta, maybe that would have been great to build her brand, no doubt. But, there are things that she and her manager, who her manager is primarily the one who controls her Twitter account, have to realize here—they are not easy to work with, and I can attest to this.

When I called her first fight in the UFC, I speak to every single athlete. I like to before they fight, before I call their fight. I feel like that’s what I owe them. I shouldn’t be in there speculating. I should be sure of where they trained, what they focused on, who their coaches are, what they would like me to talk about concerning their brand. I ask them all these questions. I talk to them about what they want to get done, what are the weaknesses and strengths they see in their opponent, all these things, and then it’s a secret. I don’t tell anybody. I don’t even tell Jon Anik. Nobody knows what I’m going to say until they start making that walk.

When I set up a time to speak to her, her manager gave me a time that was my appointment to speak to her. I call. Doesn’t answer. I go back to him to get a meeting and set up a time, and he gives me another time. I call. No answer. I call. No answer.

So, then I call George Lockhart, who I knew was sitting with her or was with her handling her weight cut. George answers the phone, and I say, ‘Hey George, is Cris busy right now? I had a time set to speak to her before this fight at UFC 198.’ ‘Bro, she’s sitting right next to me.’ I said, ‘Okay, is her phone in her hand?’ He says, ‘Yes.’ I go, ‘Okay, does she just no longer want to do this appointment?’ ‘I guess not, bro. I don’t know what to tell you.’

Okay, no problem, but that doesn’t help me promote you. I actually told her manager, ‘Look, I understand what’s been said about this woman before. I am only looking to focus on the positive things and promote her as a fighter. I’ve never said anything negative about her, so she didn’t give me that opportunity to do so.’ Okay, fine.

The other thing about her is she gets George Lockhart to live with her and be there for her entire camp. He cooks all of her food. She didn’t pay for that. The UFC paid for that. That’s a pretty massive advantage. That’s special treatment. That’s pretty awesome that an entire weight class was made for her.

She did turn down fights. I know that that did happen. She was hard to work with and did turn down fights. More importantly, there was a time where she decided to lie about her weight and talk about her weight cut. For some reason, she started tweeting out her weight at a current time during her cut; the UFC was able to verify, and they didn’t really go too public with this, but there were some issues there too where she was lying about her weight at the time. I’m not saying she’s 100 percent wrong in some of the things she’s putting out there, but she’s not doing herself any favors on the flip side by being so difficult to work with.

One of the things that has helped Conor McGregor and Ronda (Rousey) get their push is that they saw this as a mutually beneficial agreement among businesses; the fighter being their own business, and they were good partners in this whole thing. And man, I think Cyborg still has an opportunity to be a great partner and she can turn this around because she’s right. She’s absolutely a draw. At a time where they need more stars, here’s one ripe for the picking that I think people scratch their head about. Wow! This woman is a phenomenal athlete. She’s smashing people. I think they’ve got a shot here.

I am hoping they can fix this. I’m hoping they can find a way to move this forward. There’s still time to patch this up and do a better job on both sides of promoting this. But man, in my experience, she is one of the more difficult fighters to work with from my perspective, and it’s a shame, because I’ve done nothing but say positive things about her and her training.

I’ve said it before; people want to associate her with the steroids and things of that nature. I’m telling you, this woman is a phenomenal athlete. It’s a shame she ever got caught up with that early in her career, because she never needed it.

I’ve watched her train. I’ve watched her cut the weight. I’ve watched her work out. Wow. It’s impressive, very impressive, and it’s a shame that conversation can’t be had because of other things, and I think it needs to be had. I think people will recognize over time, and I’d love to be an analyst that helps usher in that conversation about this athlete. So, we’ll see what happens. I wish her and her camp the best in the future, and I hope that this can get healed and she can get promoted better.”

Cyborg then took the time to sling some lava in Stann’s direction after hearing about his podcast comments, even going so far as to insinuate that the broadcaster might have nationalist tendencies stemming from his loss to Wanderlei Silva. She also hopes that Sean Shelby addresses the “negative things” Stann said when she meets with WME-IMG brass.

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