UFC Women’s Featherweight champ, Cris Cyborg, has more or less held a title everywhere she’s been. Since 2009, she’s dominated her peers in Strikeforce, Invicta FC, and now the UFC. You’d expect a little stability given her talents, and her future, but the UFC isn’t giving her much faith.
Speaking with MMA Tonight on SiriusXM Fight Nation, she had been scheduled to fight the Bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes, for a September 8th showdown but Nunes turned the date down, and opted for a December target. Should that happen, that’ll be nine months since she easily discarded Yana Kunitskaya.
Given the UFC’s history with fast tracking other competitors, it’s hard to argue Cyborg doesn’t have a point. Her frustrations have a history.
“Before Dana White gave the belt to Ronda, I was already the champion in my division, 145, and I think all my fans know what I deal with every day,” Cyborg said (via MMA Fighting). “Like with Ronda or other fights, it’s all politics. I’m the champion a long time, 12 years undefeated, and if a fight doesn’t happen with girls like this, it’s politics. You can see how it’s politics because I’m ready to fight now and I have to wait nine months and you can see Colby Covington, they’re gonna take his belt – and he got the belt 45 days ago – because Woodley is ready to fight and [Colby] said he’s not ready so they took the belt. This is an example of how politics works.”
Cyborg isn’t the first. Tyron Woodley has called UFC matchmaking nothing more than “entertainment world.” It’s not just Nate Diaz who finds the matchmaking problematic.
That doesn’t bode well for her immediate future in the UFC. She has just two fights left on her contract, and her contract date expires in March 2019. But she has plenty of more fighting in her.
“I have a dream fight boxing fight and I am for sure gonna fight a boxing fight. If it’s not gonna be the UFC, maybe I’ll fight Julia Budd in Bellator. I think I have a lot of doors I can fight [in]. Maybe I could do a Grand Prix, more than one fight per day in Japan. A lot of things can happen. I don’t think this is the finish of my career, this is just one more challenge in my career. I’ve already overcome a lot of things in my career, and if I don’t fight in the UFC anymore, for sure I’m gonna find other ways to keep growing my legacy.”
There’s nothing like Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather on the horizon as an equivalent if Cyborg wants to box, but these forays tend to prod fan interest; as it did when Cyborg fought Jorina Baars in a one-sided, but entertaining kickboxing bout.
Cyborg’s certainly right about having plenty of doors open for her. It’s hard to say whether that’s something fans really want to see, but at worst — these theoreticals about boxing, and Japan sound more interesting than, say, a rematch with Kunitskaya.