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Morning Report: Dana White goes after Cris Cyborg: ‘Dealing with her has been a nightmare’

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Dana White
Dana White
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The saga continues.

Dana White and Cris Cyborg have been publicly feuding for months, but with UFC 240 in the rear view, Cyborg is now officially finished with her UFC contract. But so ready to be done with Cyborg was White that he released her from her contractual matching period last weekend, saying that the UFC was out of the Cyborg business. In turn, Cyborg noted how happy she was to be done with the UFC and White’s “big ego.” Normally, one would expect that to be the end of the beef. Well, not exactly.

At a media scrum following Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series (video courtesy of The Mac Life), Dana White was asked about Cyborg and went off on the former featherweight champion.

“Just a lot of things,” White said when asked why he released Cyborg early. “Dealing with her has been a nightmare the entire time she’s been here, and I said the other day in the interview with Laura, there was a lot of controversy bringing her in in the first place at that time. And when I did the interview with Laura, we really didn’t mention the whole her lying on the video about what I said. Her [air quotes] production team [air quotes] lying about what I said on the video. It’s just been a bad experience dealing with Cyborg from day one.

“We brought her in after she tested positive for steroids and got done with that. We made her a clean athlete with the best drug testing policy in all of sports the entire time she was here. Which, when she talks about her legacy and her [air quotes] brand [air quotes], her legacy and her brand, nothing is better than knowing that she’s a clean athlete after testing positive for steroids and all the negativity that surrounded her about being a dirty athlete.

“We bring her in here, we do all this stuff, and she was just never happy. Never happy, complaining about everything. She was a nightmare to deal with it and at the end of the day, she knows, I know, Amanda Nunes knows, I tried to make that Nunes fight and she doesn’t want it. She doesn’t want it and she gets mad when I say I don’t blame her - I DON’T BLAME HER! Because if that was Amanda Nunes last Saturday I think everybody can agree what would have happened in that fight.

“So she’s unhappy, we’re unhappy, she lies and does that thing, - see you later, have a nice life.”

White and Cyborg have been quietly feuding for years, but it recently boiled over in advance of UFC 240. White repeatedly told the media that he wanted to make a Cyborg vs. Nunes rematch instead of Cyborg’s bout with Felicia Spencer but that Cyborg was refusing to fight Nunes again. Cyborg, in turn, took umbrage with her boss throwing her under the bus instead of promoting her upcoming fight and also disputed White’s claims. Things reached a crescendo when after UFC 240, Cyborg released a video of her backstage encounter with White, but the video was doctored to make it appear White said certain things he did not say. Afterward, Cyborg apologized for the video and blamed the incident on her production team but White isn’t ready to accept that.

“I don’t think there’s any peace between me and Cyborg,” White said. “Whether you like me or don’t like me, whatever your opinion of me doesn’t matter, what she did was dirty. Dirty what she did with the video and meanwhile she’s running around saying she better get an apology from me. Yeah, I got an apology from her because what she did is one of the dirtiest things. It had to kill her to apologize to me but what she did is one of the dirtiest things that you can do to somebody. That’s why she apologized.”

But White maintains that even that is something they could overcome for the sake of business. After all, White said, he worked with many fighters who didn’t like him - including Mark Hunt while Hunt was suing him and the UFC - but he kept fights moving right along. The issue with Cyborg, White said, is that the fight to make is one that she will never accept, despite her public posturing that it is the fight she wants.

“She doesn’t want to fight Amanda Nunes,” White said. “You guys and the fans need to get it into your head that she did everything she could, including doctoring a video lying about what I said, to avoid fighting Amanda Nunes. The fans and the media need to just get it through your heads that all that sh*t was going on - ‘Oh he’s bullying me.’ Bullying you? You’ve been here for five years, what are you talking about? You’re talking about stuff that happened five years ago. It was all a smoke screen to not fight Amanda Nunes. She doesn’t want that fight otherwise we wouldn’t even be having this conversation right now. I’ve had problems over the last 20 years with plenty of fighters, from Tito Ortiz to Mark Hunt to God knows who else, we always made fights. She doesn’t want to fight Amanda Nunes.”

Cyborg, for her part, has vehemently maintained that the only fight she wants is the Nunes fight as it is the best for her legacy. She even had a Cyborg vs. Nunes 2 shirt made that she donned post UFC 240. However, White says he’s ready to put his money where is mouth is. If Cyborg really wants the fight, she can have a one-fight deal for the rematch. But White says that still won’t get it done.

“If I’m lying, she can call tomorrow and we’ll make that fight,” White said. “She will not call tomorrow and that fight will not be made because she does not want to fight Amanda Nunes. She won’t take the fight. SHE WON’T DO A ONE-FIGHT DEAL! SHE WILL NOT FIGHT AMANDA NUNES! SHE WILL NOT FIGHT AMANDA NUNES ON A HALF A FIGHT DEAL! Amanda Nunes will knock her out again in the first round. I know it, you know it, and she knows it and she will not do that fight. Period.”

After hearing this from White, Cyborg’s Twitter account tweeted that a conversation between White and her management team will take place today, however that tweet has since been deleted. Meanwhile, White says the UFC women’s featherweight division is going to keep on trucking without Cyborg and that, realistically, the UFC doesn’t even need her as they already have the best 145er in the world.

“Amanda’s gonna defend both titles just like she always did,” White said. “Cyborg leaving doesn’t matter. We know who the best fighter in the world is at 135 and 145, it’s Amanda Nunes. She had the opportunity for her legacy, Cyborg’s legacy, to get that fight again and she doesn’t want it. So we will continue to bring in the best fighters in the world and put them in against Amanda Nunes.”


MUST-READ STORIES

Results. 3 fighters awarded UFC contracts last night on Dana White’s Contender Series.

Ego. Cris Cyborg ‘very happy’ to finish UFC era, attacks Dana White’s ‘big ego’.

Boxing. Dana White targets October for the launch of Zuffa Boxing.

Why? Jack Hermansson on Jared Cannonier bout: ‘Fans are asking me why I’m doing this’.


VIDEO STEW

Neiman Gracie interview.

Contender Series announcement.

Free fight.

Wonderboy teaching footwork.


LISTEN UP

Eurobash. Interviews with Jack Hermansson and Johnny Walker.

Mookie & Crookie. Discussing Colby Covington, Cris Cyborg, and Cain Velasquez.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Cyborg.

Khabib always rolls deep and no one ever smiles.

Savage.

Not a bad idea.

ESPN straight nabbing some dude’s content.

But Max is great.

Now that’s what I call a sponsorship.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Khonry Gracie (0-1) vs. Oscar Vera (0-1); Bellator 225, Aug. 24.

Luan Santiago (14-3) vs. Cleiton Silva (14-2); Brave FC, Aug. 30.

Deiveson Figueiredo (16-1) vs. Tim Elliott (15-8-1); UFC San Francisco, Oct. 12.

Eric Spicely (12-5) vs. Brendan Allen (12-3); UFC Boston, Oct. 18.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2010: At UFC 117, Anderson Silva pulled off the greatest comeback in MMA history, submitting Chael Sonnen with a triangle-armbar in the fifth round after being dominated for the entirety of the fight.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Not sure how you don’t sign Cyborg for a one-off rematch at this point. She definitely loses to Amanda again and the heat between Cyborg and White is the best beef in MMA right now.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

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Can Cyborg and Dana repair their relationship?

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