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Morning Report: Cris Cyborg says UFC matchmaking is ‘all politics,’ she’s open to other promotions in future

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It sounds like Cris Cyborg is frustrated with the state of things in the UFC right now.

The women’s featherweight champion last competed at UFC 222 in March, knocking out Yana Kunitskaya in the main event. That win looked likely to set up a champion vs. champion superfight with bantamweight queen, Amanda Nunes. Nunes even signed a bout agreement to face Cyborg but Nunes and the UFC want the fight to be at UFC 232 on Dec. 29, and that doesn’t mesh with Cyborg’s own wants.

Speaking with MMA Tonight on SiriusXM Fight Nation recently, Cyborg discussed the hold up on getting another fight, saying she doesn’t want to wait until December to fight again, and if that’s what the UFC wants, they need to make it worth her while.

“The day [Nunes] signed the deal, the UFC reached out to my manager, and then two days before, they asked me to fight Amanda Nunes on Sept. 8th,” Cyborg said. “I said, ‘Yes, I’m ready. I want to fight.’ After that, they contacted us and said Amanda cannot fight in September, she wants to fight in December.

“For me to wait for a fight for nine months, I’m not getting paid since this last fight against Yana Kunitskaya. I don’t think it’s fair to wait for nine months to fight. I can fight! I don’t have any injuries. I’m healthy, I can fight, and just because Amanda isn’t ready.

“I would like to fight before. I would like to fight her but if she’s not ready, if she cannot fight now, I would like to fight before. Or if they want me to sit down nine months, I think it has to be worth it.”

This is far from the first time Cyborg has been frustrated with a situation in the world’s premier fight organization. Despite having Cyborg under contract, the UFC went ahead with a featherweight title fight between Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie because Cyborg was unable to fit their proposed timeline. Eventually, Cyborg and the UFC settled their differences and she re-signed with the promotion, winning the vacant belt (de Randamie was stripped after refusing to fight Cyborg) at UFC 214. But whether the UFC will make it worth Cyborg’s while to sit out this time remains to be seen because, Cyborg says, all of this is just politics.

“Before Dana White gave the belt to Ronda, I was already the champion in my division, 145, and I think all my fans know what I deal with every day,” Cyborg said. “Like with Ronda or other fights, it’s all politics. I’m the champion a long time, 12 years undefeated, and if a fight doesn’t happen with girls like this, it’s politics. You can see how it’s politics because I’m ready to fight now and I have to wait nine months and you can see Colby Covington, they’re gonna take his belt - and he got the belt 45 days ago - because Woodley is ready to fight and [Colby] said he’s not ready so they took the belt. This is an example of how politics works.”

And if the UFC and Cyborg can’t settle this amicably? The featherweight champion says that she only has two fights left on her contract with the organization and after that, she’s open to pursuing opportunities elsewhere. At the end of the day, Cyborg says what’s important to her is her cementing her legacy as best as possible.

“I still have a lot of things left in my career,” Cyborg concluded. “I have two fights left in the UFC and I hope this works well. I have a dream fight boxing fight and I am for sure gonna fight a boxing fight. If it’s not gonna be the UFC, maybe I’ll fight Julia Budd in Bellator. I think I have a lot of doors I can fight [in]. Maybe I could do a Grand Prix, more than one fight per day in Japan. A lot of things can happen. I don’t think this is the finish of my career, this is just one more challenge in my career. I’ve already overcome a lot of things in my career, and if I don’t fight in the UFC anymore, for sure I’m gonna find other ways to keep growing my legacy.”


Out. UFC 227 medical suspensions: Cody Garbrandt potentially out six months for broken hand.

Conflict. Eddie Alvarez’s coach Mark Henry explains confrontation, reconciliation with Dustin Poirier.

Moving up. Sarah Kaufman thinks 135ers are avoiding her, open to move up and fight Cris Cyborg.

Lawsuit. Marcos Rogerio de Lima doesn’t rule out suing supplement company that sold contaminated product.

Moving on. Viviane Pereira parts ways with the UFC, signs multi-fight deal with Invicta FC.


The MMA Beat.

UFC 227 Rewind.

Normalizing Greg Hardy.

Eddie Hearn discussing how McGregor-Khabib counter-programmed him.


Heavy Hands. Discussing the title fights from UFC 227.

Submission Radio. Interviews with Bas Rutten, Dan Kelly, James Vick, and Luke Thomas.


Conor saying things.

DJ giving an update on his injuries.

Update and see you guys on @arielhelwani show on Monday #Helwanishow

A post shared by Demetrious Johnson (@mightymouse125) on

Kamaru staying ready.


No. You don’t. You beat him in a cage. We’ve done this enough. Please stop.

Khabib trying to use his connections.

The TUF 1 cast reunited to film a docuseries and it is enjoyable.


Which one is the lightweight?

So this photo of Paul Harris surfaced yesterday and WOW.

Boxers getting involved in the UFCPI.


Diego Sanchez (27-11) vs. Craig White (14-8); UFC 228, Sep. 10.

Arlene Blencowe (10-7) vs. Amber Leibrock (3-1); Bellator 206, Sep. 29.

Michelle Waterson (15-6) vs. Felice Herrig (14-7); UFC 229, Oct. 6.

Ovince Saint Preux (23-11) vs. Dominick Reyes (9-0); UFC 229, Oct. 6.

Lina Lansberg (8-3) vs. Yana Kunitskaya (10-4, 1 NC); UFC 229, Oct. 6.

Ryan LaFlare (14-2) vs. Tony Martin (13-4); UFC 229, Oct. 6.

Raquel Pennington (9-6) vs. Germaine de Randamie (7-3); UFC Denver, Nov. 10.

Ashley Yoder (5-4) vs. Amanda Cooper (3-4); UFC Denver, Nov. 10.

Maycee Barber (5-0) vs. Maia Stevenson (6-5); UFC Denver, Nov. 10.


2003: One of the greatest events in Pride FC history, Pride Total Elimination 2003, took place in Saitama, Japan, featuring the quarterfinals of the 2003 Middleweight Grand Prix. This event is perhaps most famous for being Chuck Liddell’s Pride debut, coming over with the UFC to set up a fight with Wanderlei Silva. On this night, Liddell would knock out Alistair Overeem, advancing to the semi-finals where he would face Quinton Jackson.


Not a lot of fighting going on this weekend, but for the dedicated viewer, Rizin 12 is going down on Sunday morning (U.S. time) and since it may be the most fun organization in the world right now, I’d highly recommend watching even though this card lacks on some of the names of previous ones.

Thanks for reading and see y’all on Monday.



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If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

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