Not only does Cris Cyborg have her first UFC featherweight title defense booked, but she has a new UFC deal as well.
“I am excited to be committed to the UFC,” Cyborg said in a statement posted Friday to her website. “Dana White has proven himself as the best promoter in the sport, and with the recent addition of Mick Maynard as women’s matchmaker, I felt it was time to come to an agreement where we can both work together and be committed in both building the UFC and the Cris Cyborg brands.
“I am excited to start this new chapter in my career as a real partner with the UFC and the fights we will promote together.”
Cyborg, 32, was nearing the end of her old UFC contract after compiling a 3-0 record inside the Octagon, culminating in a third-round knockout of Tonya Evinger at UFC 214 which captured Cyborg the vacant UFC women’s featherweight title.
The article announcing Cyborg’s new deal on her website stated that her contract “is rumored to make her the highest-paid female fighter currently on the UFC roster, and one of the top paid fighters within the promotion.” The article also teased that Cyborg may be looking to compete in boxing matches under the Zuffa Boxing banner if the UFC moves in that direction, as UFC president Dana White has suggested may happen soon.
Cyborg (18-1, 1 NC) has long been considering the No. 1 female featherweight fighter in the world, claiming titles in Strikeforce, Invicta FC, and most recently the UFC. The Brazilian veteran carries a 19-fight undefeated streak that dates back to 2005 and includes decisive victories over Marloes Coenen (x2), Gina Carano, and Shayna Baszler. In total, of Cyborg’s 18 career wins, 16 have come by way of KO/TKO.
Despite her unprecedented run of success, Cyborg has often times been at odds with the UFC. Most memorably, in 2014, White said that Cyborg “looked like Wanderlei Silva in a dress and heels.” But Cyborg indicated Friday that the signing of her new contract marked the beginning of a new chapter in her relationship with the UFC, and that chapter begins against Holm at UFC 219.
“Today is a new day with me and the UFC,” Cyborg said on her website. “From this day forward, we are on the same team working together, I am no longer in a position where I am fighting for a division or a chance at a world title. I am excited to have to the full support of WME and the UFC behind me and to see how this will elevate the platform of my brand.”