Cris Cyborg’s 13-year run as an undefeated MMA star came to an end Saturday night, and she wasn’t happy with not being allowed to address the loss inside the Octagon.
Cyborg was knocked out for the first time in her career in the co-main event of UFC 232 in Inglewood, Calif., losing the featherweight title to now double-champion Amanda Nunes in just 51 seconds. The Brazilian was asked at the post-fight press conference if she deserved an immediate rematch, and said that what she deserved more than anything was a post-fight interview in the cage.
“They just kicked me out of the cage,” Cyborg said. “I think (it’s) very bad, very disrespectful, because I did a lot for the sport. I was supposed to say hello for my fans and talk to them. I think it’s not right. But OK, they did, (it’s) already done, I can go (to the) media and talk to my fans, say how I appreciate them, how them coming to the cage to watch my fight, all Cyborg Nation here to watch me. It’s OK, I just feel like I’m supposed to say something. Two Brazilian fighters, two champions. That’s it.”
Cyborg wanted to show her fans that she was fine despite the loss and continue to be a champion “in the hearts of the people” because “everything (that) happened in my career, everybody knows here, it’s not easy for me,” Cyborg said. “Never easy. But I worked hard and worked harder and got the belt and proved everybody who I am. Against the system. Nobody do this. Against the system. And who I am, (I was a) champion before, but I want to be champion in people’s hearts and I’m gonna continue doing this anywhere I’m going.”
The former Strikeforce, Invicta FC, and UFC featherweight champion has only one bout left in her contract with the UFC and has had a complicated relationship with the promotion, even before joining the company.
Asked in Portuguese if what happened after Saturday’s fight could impact her decision to not re-sign with the UFC, combined with all the issues she has had with the UFC in the past, Cyborg said she doesn’t hold grudges against anyone. In the end, with the microphone in her hand, Cyborg had the chance to deliver the message she wanted.
“I wanna say thank you for all my fans (for coming to California),” Cyborg said. “I always try being the champion in the hearts of everybody, give them hope, because people (who) follow me knows how hard it was for me and I never showed them I’m quitting, I’m weak, I never showed that. But I’m a human being, I have my mistakes, I have a lot of things like everybody here, and I showed them it doesn’t matter you gonna fall, you gonna stand up on your feet and get in there. You just have to believe and have faith.
“This is the thing I want to show to all my fans. When you do that, you are the champion. When you stand up on your feet after you fall, you are the champion. And this is what I tried to show all my fans because I know everybody has hard times and I feel sad because everybody is sad because I lost today. For sure I have something to learn today. I don’t know what now, but I know God is gonna show me. I don’t want nobody sad because I’m not gonna be sad.”