Cris Cyborg Asks for Release from UFC, Abandons Ronda Rousey Superfight
After several arguments about weight divisions and tuneup matches, Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos is taking her ball and asking to go home.
That's the latest development in negotiations for a once-potential UFC superfight between Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg, according to a recent episode of Inside MMA on AXS TV.
As relayed via Cyborg's manager, former UFC champion Tito Ortiz, the first (and only) Strikeforce women's featherweight champion is no longer interested in working for the UFC.
To that effect, she has reportedly asked for her early release from the promotion:
Right now, we're actually waiting for [the] UFC to release [Cyborg]. We asked for them to release her, so Dana White actually talked to me yesterday. They gave an offer, I went to Cyborg and she said she didn't want to do it—and we just asked for her release.
Since [the UFC] isn't doing a 145-pound weight class, what else can they do? Now, she's going to be released. Maybe we'll go look somewhere else and you can see Cyborg crush another woman's face in.
Ortiz noted that the UFC's intent was to offer Cyborg a "huge deal," but she specifically wanted a three-fight deal with a fourth fight against Rousey at a 140-pound catchweight.
However, UFC president Dana White had previously stated that match would only happen at 135 pounds—requiring a weight drop that Ortiz says would permanently harm Cyborg's health.
As Ortiz elaborated on Inside MMA, "family is what it's truly about" for Cyborg, as she believes the health risks will impair her ability to have children.
Of course, future offers for Cyborg may be dry, as the Brazilian is suspected of several years of drug use, especially following a positive test for anabolic steroids in January 2012, which has halted her MMA career ever since.
Additionally, Ortiz also drew some fire from White for statements made to The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting) claiming that Rousey "hasn't proven anything" in her fighting career yet.
White's response was especially barbed, telling the press (via MMA Weekly) that Rousey—an undefeated champion, sports superstar and history-making U.S. Olympic medalist—is in another class compared to Ortiz, blowing his career "out of the water" with her relative age and accomplishments.
While it remains to be seen if the UFC will release Cyborg, women's bantamweight champion Rousey currently has her hands full preparing for her first title defense at UFC 157 against challenger Liz Carmouche.
That main-event title bout will take place on Feb. 23 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, along with a co-main event title eliminator featuring Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida. During the wait, a three-part UFC 157 Primetime special will be airing for the next three weeks, profiling both of the female bantamweight headliners.
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