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Curitiba mayor orders removal of Cris Cyborg mural

A mural was painted in Cris Cyborg's honor prior to UFC 198 in 2016.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Cris Cyborg had a cool mural in her hometown of Curitiba, Brazil, even before she became the UFC featherweight champion, but the mayor has decided to take it down.

The art, located at the Afonso Botelho square, was painted right before Cyborg’s UFC 198 win over Leslie Smith in May 2016. The pay-per-view event took place at the Atletico Paranaense soccer stadium, right next to the mural.

Rafael Greca, who became mayor of Curitiba in January 2017, has decided that it was time to remove the mural.

Greca believes that a piece of white marble shouldn’t be painted, and said the monument has been “restored.”

”The temporary, precarious mural, painted on marble, was deteriorated,” Greca told MMA Fighting as to why he decided to “clean” the monument. Greca is not against painting another mural in tribute to the fighter, he said, but not over the marble. “On a regular wall, of course,” Greca said.

Cyborg, who recently defeated Yana Kunitskaya to defend her featherweight championship in Las Vegas, wasn’t happy with Greca’s decision.

”It’s not deleting my image in the square that my story goes out,” Cyborg wrote to MMA Fighting. “There is no way to erase the main place where I am marked, the heart of my fans and followers. That’s the most important thing.

”If the mayor of Curitiba does not support an athlete who represents the city, imagine what happens with other athletes. It’s a shame. The right thing to do is to motivate young people to practice sports.”

Back in 2016, Cyborg used the mural as background for one of her shots at Ronda Rousey, who had lost her UFC bantamweight title to Holly Holm a few months before.

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