UFC featherweight champion Cris Cyborg and her bantamweight counterpart, Amanda Nunes, have been highly complimentary about one another’s skills and accomplishments leading up to the first-ever UFC women’s champion vs. champion fight on Dec. 29 at UFC 232.
Nunes’ acknowledges Cyborg’s longtime win streak over the course of Strikeforce, Invicta, and UFC title reigns; while Cyborg does the same for her opponent’s impressive run in all but cleaning out the 135-pound class since winning the belt from Miesha Tate at UFC 200.
But the fact that it took so long to make the bout that will go down at T-Mobile Arena? Well, that’s stuck in Cyborg’s craw for quite some time. The 33-year-old Cyborg has made it clear she’d like to stay active while she’s still in her prime, but this will be her first cage appearance since she fought Yana Kunitskaya nine-and-a-half months ago.
So Cyborg has taken every opportunity to tweak Nunes along the way about the fact a bout which has been discussed nearly a year is only now coming to pass, and Nunes appears to have finally had her fill of the taunts.
On an otherwise tame UFC 232 media conference call Thursday, Nunes became heated as Cyborg once again brought up the subject.
“That is not my problem!” an agitated Nunes told Cyborg. “You should have talked to UFC about that. You know what I mean? That is not my problem. They offer me the fight, I tell them, I have the time for, I am available for this time, and they take it. That is not my problem. You should have talked to UFC about that.”
Nunes successfully defended her championship against Raquel Pennington in May, and the way she sees it, after competing at 135 for so long, she wasn't going to rush into a fight with Cyborg, who cuts significant weight to get to 145, just to get onto Cyborg’s preferred timetable.
“You a powerful fighter,” Nunes said. “You a strong fighter. Do you think I come from my last fight about 135, I make weight 135. Do you think I’m going to step up to you if I’m not 100 percent? Let’s be honest. Let’s be honest right here.”
This led to a back-and-forth exchange in which the duo talked over one another, with Cyborg continue to harp on Nunes’ insistence on taking so long to put the fight together.
Nunes once again reiterated that she wasn’t going to rush into a fight with an opponent of Cyborg’s caliber, and that if Cyborg had a problem with that, complaints should be directed to the UFC.
“I said listen Dana White, I am not available to fight right now,” Nunes said. “I just make 135 I had injury, but maybe if she accept it at the end of the year, I’m going to be at 100 percent.”
On the latter point, Cyborg and Nunes are back in agreement.
“Great,” she said. “I want you to be 100 percent and want it to be a great fight.”