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With one fight left on contract, Cris Cyborg says UFC ‘would be losing’ if it let her go

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Cris Cyborg celebrates her UFC 198 win over Leslie Smith in Curitiba, Brazil.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Amanda Nunes put an end to Cris Cyborg’s 13-year undefeated run at UFC 232, and the future of the former featherweight queen is still up in the air.

Cyborg, who defeated five opponents in the Octagon before losing to Nunes in December, only has one bout left on her contract with the UFC. Speaking with Brazilian outlet PVT on Tuesday, Cyborg said her manager will sit down with the promotion “soon” to discuss her next steps, “if we will re-sign or not,” and negotiate a possible rematch with Nunes.

Asked if Megan Anderson could be next for her since Nunes has been teasing a return to bantamweight to defend her second UFC belt, Cyborg said that Anderson, who recently defeated Cat Zingano, “would be a good fight”, but she’s still unsure “if (the UFC) will invest in the (featherweight) division or not.”

”I don’t know what they will do moving forward,” Cyborg said. “I will keep fighting no matter where I am. My fans love watching my fights. If they decide to remove my division, and remove me from the UFC and let me go, I think the UFC would be losing with that, and the promotion that signs me would be winning. My fans follow me wherever I go. I’m very thankful because my fans are with me no matter if I win or lose.”

”I want to continue working,” she continued. “The UFC is a great platform to continue (building) my division. I think that even Amanda felt good at 145, other fighters have as well, because they don’t hurt (their bodies) that much, but that’s out of my control. My manager will meet them and see what’s the next step, but if they decide to remove the division, I will definitely continue shining somewhere else, like I’ve always done. Let’s see what happens.”

Cyborg has a rematch with Nunes as her No. 1 priority right now, and admits she did not follow the game plan at UFC 232, acting with emotion against the fellow Brazilian, and that upsets her more than the loss itself. Yet, Cyborg reveals that no longer being undefeated for 13 years took a weight off of her shoulders.

The UFC and Cyborg have yet to sit down and discuss the possibilities for the future. If they come to an agreement, and the Brazilian knockout artist continues on the promotion’s roster, Cyborg wants to be part of UFC 237. The pay-per-view card is scheduled for May 11 in Brazil, and includes Rose Namajunas vs. Jessica Andrade for the strawweight title.

The current plan is to host UFC 237 at a 45,000-seat soccer stadium in Curitiba, the same venue where Cyborg made her Octagon debut in 2016, at UFC 198. Nunes or not, Cyborg would love to return to her hometown for another UFC fight.

”It was special for me,” Cyborg said of her first fight at the Athletico Paranaense stadium in 2016, when she beat Leslie Smith in 81 seconds. “It was eight years after my last fight in Curitiba, it was my UFC debut, and everybody waited for that. It was really special. I’m open to fighting in May in Curitiba. It could be a rematch with Amanda, but she said she wants to wait two years, or it could be with another opponent they want. Curitiba is my home. They have many athletes to sell out (the stadium) and put on a great event in Curitiba.”

”I asked for the rematch, but if it doesn’t happen, my life will continue. I will continue training and wait for my next fight. I lost my first fight and asked for a rematch, 13 years have passed and I never had it, and that didn’t stop my legacy. I kept fighting.”