The last time Incivta featherweight champion Cris Cyborg had to make the cut to 140 pounds was a harrowing affair. Justino looked gaunt and frail on the scales the day before her swift UFC 198 victory over Leslie Smith.
This week doesn't look like it's going to be any better for the fighter many consider the best women's pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
"Cyborg" will meet the unheralded Lina Lansberg on Saturday in Brasilia, Brazil, once again meeting at a 140-pound catchweight. But Justino said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour that as of Monday, she's still got an astonishing 24 pounds to cut before Friday's weigh-ins.
"I fly from America to Brazil [five days ago] 168 pounds," Justino said. "Today, I wake up 165."
Last time out, Justino had a 12-week camp and entered fight week at 153. This time around, though, she's had eight weeks to prepare, and there's been one big difference: According to "Cyborg," she's been on birth control, which has caused her to retain water weight.
"In this camp, my nutrition coach, he starts giving to me birth control, and I never take this in my life, and I take this three months, every day," Justino said. "My coach says it will be good for me, I believe in him, and, man I fly from America to Brazil 168 pounds. My body will hold more water than normal, and I don't think this will really help my body."
Justino said she's done everything by the book for this camp, but simply hasn't been able to drop the weight, never getting down to 150 at any point.
"This camp I don't touch 150," she said. "It's really scary, I look in the mirror, I trained double and I don't know why I don't touch '50. Just something different in this camp is I take birth control. Last fight, I make 140, it was successful."
Justino said that her doctor has advised against going this route again. While Justino, who has talked about getting down to 140 to do superfights with some of the top bantamweight names, won't rule out another drop to 140, she says things need to change before she attempts it again.
"I don't want to say I'll never fight 140 again, that's probably not true," Cyborg said. "But a lot of things have to change. If I make 140, I sacrifice a lot of things in my life, my diet, my training, my thyroid, its insane to make 140, I think a lot of things have to be put on the table before I make 140 again."