Cris Cyborg, arguably the pound for pound best female fighter in MMA has been calling for the UFC to create a Featherweight division so she can compete at her preferred weight class, so it seemed odd when UFC supremo Dana White said she has turned down two opportunities to fight for a newly created title at the 145 pounds division.
White told UFC Unfiltered, “What’s crazy about this is this, I offered Cris Cyborg a title fight at 145 pounds about a month ago. She had eight weeks to get ready for it. She said she couldn’t make the weight. Then I offered her another 145 pound title fight for Brooklyn. She turned it down. She turned down two 145 pound title fights. One because she said she couldn’t make 145 pounds in eight weeks, and Joe Silva’s like, ‘If she can’t make 145 pounds in eight weeks, 145 isn’t the right weight class for her either.’ ”
According to White the two fights would have been against Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie. White said the fight against Holm never got off the ground as Cyborg blamed the weight cut, while the de Randamie fight on a different date didmd have a reason, “there is no excuse, she just turned the fight down.”
However Cyborg has answered back in a lengthy statement given to MMA Fighting,
“In my last weight cut I almost died, I was in the bathtub cutting weight, and I thought, ‘I will die in this bathtub,’ It was the worst weight cut in my life. My nutritionist George Lockhart, who, by the way, is a UFC employee, didn’t do an effective job with this birth control pill he indicated saying that would help me. But thank God, in a war, I made weight, cutting 24 pounds in a week. My body was retaining a lot of water. The last time I spoke with George Lockhart was in the locker room before my fight. He disappeared after the fight. I’m not working with him anymore.”
“For the first time I didn’t warm up in the locker room like I do for every fight because I was too weak. I was just praying for God and went for the fight and once again God gave me the victory. After all this, I went back to my hometown on Sunday and I felt sick on Sunday. My mother gave me tea and I fell asleep. The next day, like I always do after my fights, I did blood tests to see if everything was okay after a terrible weight cut. And for the first time, the nurses couldn’t take my blood, it was so thick it wouldn’t come out, so we couldn’t do tests. I was in treatment for 10 days with Dr Ulisseia. I was in observation because I was feeling sick all the time.”
“You can see that I give no interviews after the fight. I told UFC Brazil PR that I wanted to cancel all my interviews and couldn’t travel. After all that, at home, I decided I would not fight at this weight anymore, that I would only fight at my division. And only with 12 weeks’ notice. For my last fight, they told me eight weeks before. I got a call from the UFC offering me another catchweight fight, and i said I would not fight at this weight anymore. I needed a break to get my health back to normal because my body was weak, I was anaemic. After that, they invited me to fight again, but this time at my weight and for the belt, but with 10 weeks’ notice. Knowing that I was recovering, like I said, I told them I can fight anyone in March but I need to take care of my body, and no mention of the fact that I’m dealing with severe depression and can’t have another brutal weight cut like before. This decision is more important than the belt or the division, I’m thinking about my health.”
She ended “I thank my fans, We did it! I’ll soon be fighting in my division, where I’m the world champion. You and God are loyal. I’ll be ready to fight in March.”
Hopefully the UFC can get round the table with Cyborg and sort a new date for a featherweight title fight once Cyborg is back fit again. As it’s no doubt she is a big draw with fans.