Cris Cyborg’s Team Says UFC is Now “a Longshot”
Before Ronda Rousey was KO'd by Holly Holm last November, there was a lot of chatter about Cris "Cyborg" Justino finally making her UFC debut in a fight against Ronda. But, things have obviously changed.
Last year, Cyborg focused on the potential superfight... while at the same time attempting to drop weight to possibly make 135 and challenge for the UFC bantamweight title.
With that option now off the table, she's focusing on herself and dropping their campaign to enter the UFC. "It seems like last year, for us, was about Ronda Rousey," her manager George Prajin said, reports ESPN. "This year is about Cris Cyborg. She wants to concentrate on showing she's the best in the world on her own, not standing in someone else's shadow."
Cyborg is under contract with Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC, but the promotion has no weight class she can compete in... and has repeatedly stated that she would have to cut weight to 135 if she wants a fight inside the Octagon. So, after spending all last year trying to make 135, her team's has abandoned the effort... which would mean that a lot of stars would have to align for her to ever fight in the UFC.
"Our only hope is a Hail Mary -- a longshot," Prajin said. "It's the UFC seeing value in a Holly Holm vs. Cyborg catchweight fight. They have a division to protect. If Holly fights Cris at UFC 200 and gets smashed, it lowers her value as a champion. I'm sure they don't want to do that.
"We still feel Cris is the only money fight out there for Holly besides a Rousey rematch. If Holly beats Miesha Tate [at UFC 196 on March 5] and then Ronda decides she doesn't want to fight or loses to Holly again, the only fight that would make sense for Holly would be Cris.
"But I understand the UFC's position right now. We can't tell them how to run their business. It is what it is."
Justino (15-1) is expected to defend her Invicta FC 145-pound championship in May... with an opponent being announced within the next several weeks.