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Cris Cyborg’s plan: Fight Holly Holm vs. Megan Anderson winner, then Amanda Nunes

UFC featherweight champion Cris Cyborg made her intentions clear: She wanted to fight on the big UFC 226 card on July 6 in Las Vegas, preferably in a superfight against bantamweight counterpart Amanda Nunes.

Of course, in the fight game, things rarely progress in a straight line from Point A to Point B, and now it looks highly likely that Cyborg will next defend her belt against the winner of the UFC 225 bout between Holly Holm and Megan Anderson, with a bout with Nunes perhaps on deck afterwards.

While Cyborg isn’t thrilled about the way this all panned out, she’s fine with the end result.

“I’m okay with the plan,” Cyborg said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “I was supposed to fight Megan Anderson before Holly, you know? I think I wasn’t going to say anything but me and Megan were supposed to fight before, she was the No. 1 contender in my division, and I fight for my division, and I fight all the girls at 135 the UFC gave me. And the only girl the UFC has at 145, they give to Holly. I really don’t care anymore about this, I just want to fight whoever is going to win.”

The plan to fight Nunes in July took a turn when the UFC asked Cyborg to fight on short notice at UFC 222.

“After my fight against Holly Holm, I asked for Amanda,” Cyborg said. “I told the UFC I would like to fight Amanda in July because I was adopting my niece and I need time for her, and it was going to be perfect time in July. Between this, the UFC called me and asked me to fight at UFC 222 on short notice. And I said can you do Amanda and they say the could not get Amanda for UFC 222, And I said okay, maybe I can fight at UFC 222 but I still want to fight in July with Amanda. And they said, ‘Okay, Cris, the fight is going to happen.’”

Cyborg held out hope they’d still be able to fight at UFC 226, whether it was against Nunes or Megan Anderson. But Nunes took the Raquel Pennington fight at UFC 224 and Cyborg was surprised to find out about the Holm-Anderson booking.

“I said OK, if Amanda is going to fight in July, and fights now in Brazil and gets hurt, how is she going to fight me in July?” Cyborg said. “You guys can put me against Megan Anderson. That fight, if Amanda is hurt, I can fight Megan Anderson. I want to fight July, you guys promised me fight in July. And they say, ‘No, no she’s not going to be hurt, she’s going to be okay.’

“They said for me, Megan Anderson is not going to have her visa ready for July,” Cyborg continued. “And after, three days later, I learn they’re going to fight Holly Holm and Megan Anderson. For my July, if someone is going to get hurt, she cannot fight me. I’m thinking she’s going to fight Amanda in July, this is already my plan, and now she has injury after her fight, the commission give her like six months.”

Indeed, Nunes will be out awhile after her fifth-round TKO victory over Pennington. And Cyborg has decided she doesn’t want to wait around.

“I don’t want to wait,” Cyborg said. “I want to fight and I think this fight Megan Anderson and Holly, they’re already making plans for me and Holly rematch. Because they just took [Alistair] Overeem off the pay-per-view, put him on the preliminaries, and they put Megan Anderson and Holly, the first fight on the PPV with Megan. And I think Dana White wants to get prepared for me and Holly to have a rematch. I’m not going to wait for Amanda from her injury, I’d like to fight who’s going to win the next fight of Holly and Megan, and then it can be the last fight on my contract with Amanda. She can take all the time she needs.”

The difficulty in finding opponents for Cyborg stems in large part due to the lack of depth in the featherweight division. The UFC is attempting to address this by booking featherweights on the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter.

And while Cyborg doesn’t always agree with the UFC’s decisions, she is pleased to see the company commit to her weight class.

“I was really happy about this because the one thing is, I was always fighting for my division, not for me but for the girls like them,” said Cyborg, who flew out to Las Vegas to attend the tryouts. “It’s going to be, [Tuesday] is the tryouts and it makes me really happy because I really fought for this. I didn’t hear much about this from the UFC, I found out about this on different websites about there’s going to be tryouts. And I’m going to be there tomorrow. I don’t think I’m going to be coach then, but I’ll be there for the tryouts to support them. I’m happy for the division, and I think the division is going to be the goal one day. I know a lot of people don’t believe in our division, but the division has a lot of girls that are tough, they’re going to show more the 135 division. They’re going to be bigger and stronger and it’s going to be amazing for our division.”

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