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Clock ticking on Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino’s UFC contract

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Cris “Cyborg” Justino’s UFC run could soon be coming to an end.

According to multiple sources, Justino has two fights left on her current UFC contract. However, she also has a clause in her contract which states the deal expires come October 2017, regardless of how many fights are left on it.

The UFC is hoping to book Justino vs. Germaine de Randamie for the women’s featherweight title at UFC 214 on July 29, though that deal is not finalized.

Justino, 31, signed a seven-fight deal with Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC, over three years ago with the hope that she would eventually fight Ronda Rousey for the UFC women’s bantamweight title in the future. The organization hired famed nutrionist George Lockhart to help her with her weight cuts and allowed her to fight for Inivicta FC while getting paid by Zuffa. She fought three times for Invicta under the Zuffa contract and then moved over to the UFC in 2016 for two fights at 140 pounds. However, after two difficult weight cuts and a difference of opinion with Lockhart’s weight-management philosophies, “Cyborg” put plans to move down to 135 on ice. Rousey’s somewhat sudden retirement from MMA also softened her interest in making the cut.

And just when the UFC decided to introduce a women’s featherweight title primarily for Justino late last year, the Brazilian was provisionally suspended by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, though after a two-month investigation, she was granted a retroactive therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for Spironolactone, a physician-prescribed diuretic.

Now Justino is ready to fight again, according to sources close to her, and hopes to do so where she currently lives, Orange County, Calif., site of UFC 214.

A potential sticking point: it’s unclear at this time the status of de Randamie’s injured hand, which she revealed after becoming the inaugural featherweight champion in February after defeating Holly Holm. Sources close to her declined to comment on her status when contacted by MMA Fighting.