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Cris Cyborg rules out ever going to 135, open to catchweight with Holly Holm

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Invicta FC

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- The conversation about Cris Cyborg ever going down to 135 pounds can officially be put to rest.

Cyborg told MMA Fighting on Thursday that she no longer has any plans to drop to women's bantamweight. The Brazilian knockout artist cited health reasons, the inability to use IVs and the understanding that she would be a depleted version of herself at that weight.

"No more 135," Cyborg said. "Superfight? Yeah. I think that's fair. Somebody can go up a little bit, I'll go down a little bit."

Cyborg was supposed to face Cindy Dandois at a 140-pound catchweight at Invicta FC 15 on Saturday night here at The Hangar. But plans changed after Ronda Rousey's loss to Holl Holm at UFC 193 in November.

A fight between Cyborg and Rousey had been highly anticipated and Cyborg's contract is with UFC's parent organization Zuffa with the idea that fight would day happen. The UFC's stipulation has always been that Cyborg had to cut down to 135 to face Rousey in Rousey's weight class. The UFC doesn't have a 145-pound women's weight class.

With Rousey's loss, a drop to 135 for Cyborg was no longer pressing. That, plus the new inability to use IVs (Cyborg gets tested by USADA, the UFC's anti-doping partner), made Cyborg decide to make this fight at 145 so she can defend her Invicta featherweight title. Russia's Daria Ibragimova, a newcomer to the promotion, will be her opponent.

Cyborg (14-1, 1 NC) said the UFC has said that it only wants her if she can make 135 pounds. She's hoping the promotion will change its mind, but in the meantime she will fight for Invicta.

"I'd make a superfight at 140," Cyborg said. "I'm the world champ at 145. Why do I have to go down a division? Of course I want to make the fights nice for the fans, but I don't want to do something to make my life terrible."

Holm, the UFC's new women's bantamweight champion, has said that she's open to fighting Cyborg at a catchweight or even 145 if that's what all sides agree on. Rousey was not interested in fighting Cyborg at anything besides 135, because of Cyborg's past history with performance-enhancing drugs.

"She's the champ and if she says she wants fight me, then we can fight," Cyborg said of Holm. "I think it's good for women's MMA if we can fight. She knows I cannot go to 135, it's too hard."

Cyborg, 30, has been working with highly regarded MMA nutrition guru George Lockhart for her weight cuts. She kept Lockhart on even though she was cutting to 145 and now lower. Cyborg walks around between 165 and 170, she said. Her making 135 was probably never realistic and even if she did it she isn't sure her fighting abilities would be up to par.

"OK, I can go and step [on the scale] and I'm 135, but probably in another day I'd be trash, no good," Cyborg said. "I don't think people want to see a fight like this."

The dominant champion has also seen all the recent news and studies on weight cutting and that has only cemented her decision to not try for 135. She took notice of the death of ONE Championship fighter Yang Jian Bing in December as well as the weight-cutting summit hosted by the California State Athletic Commission last month.

"I love to fight, but it's not just about the fight," Cyborg said. "You have to be healthy."