Cris Cyborg's nutritionist is confident he can get the women's MMA star down to 135 pounds. And he thinks he can do it by December.
George Lockhart told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour that he believes Cyborg can make bantamweight within four to six months in a healthy manner, keeping her physical attributes intact. That would make a potential fight between Cyborg and Ronda Rousey at UFC 194 on Dec. 5 a possibility.
"If they want her to fight Dec. 5, it would be within the timeline," Lockhart said. "It would be close, but she could definitely make 135 before Dec. 5."
Lockhart said for the first time Cyborg's team actually asked him what he thought about her making 135 last week. Lockhart told them she could "absolutely" do it.
"A lot of people don't have the athleticism or the conditioning or the mindset to do this," Lockhart said. "She does. I don't see it being a problem at all."
The hard part, Lockhart said, is keeping Cyborg's considerable strength, power and athleticism at 135 pounds. But he believes it's definitely possible. During her last camp, Cyborg would go for 7-to-10-mile runs on her days off, which Lockhart said showed him something about her motivation.
"Cris has this new fire about her," Lockhart said. "She really wants this Ronda fight."
The UFC and Rousey have said over and over again that the fight won't happen unless Cyborg, whose real name is Cris Justino, makes 135 pounds. Rousey has maintained that if Cyborg can make 145 using steroids (she tested positive in 2011), then she can make 135 without them.
On Friday, Tito Ortiz, a Cyborg advisor, told Inside MMA that the UFC offered Cyborg the Rousey fight on Dec. 5 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. UFC president Dana White denied that in an interview with Yahoo's Kevin Iole.
Rousey is still likely to fight Miesha Tate next. But a bout between Rousey and Cyborg has become one the UFC must put together -- it could be one of the biggest fights in promotion history. Rousey has become a transcendent star and her stock rose even higher when she knocked out Bethe Correia in 34 seconds at UFC 190 on Aug. 1. Only one person (Tate) has gone past the first round with Rousey.
Meanwhile, Cyborg is her best -- and arguably only -- real challenge. Justino is currently the dominant Invicta FC women's featherweight champion, but her contract is with the UFC due to the hope of putting together that Rousey megafight. Justino has not lost since 2005 and Rousey is undefeated in her career.
Lockhart said that not only could Cyborg get down to 135, he believes he can get her back up to her normal fighting weight of 168-170 pounds one day later without an IV.
"That's my goal," Lockhart said. "My goal is to make her better, faster, more explosive at 135. ... If anything, she's going to fight exactly the way she does at 145."
Lockhart said Cyborg would need time to do it little by little to preserve her health. But December is within reach.
"The more time we have the better, obviously," Lockhart said. "But we could get her down there within four to six months."