Cris "Cyborg" Santos has signed a multi-fight deal with Invicta Fighting Championship, but according to UFC president Dana White, she could have been under contract with the UFC and still fought for Invicta until her manager Tito Ortiz asked for her release.
Santos has been in the middle of an ongoing battle for her future after stating on several occasions that she would be unable to cut down from 145 pounds to 135 pounds to fight in the lone women's division the UFC currently supports.
So last week, Santos' manager, former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, asked for her release from the promotion, allowing her to sign with another organization.
Then on Friday, Ortiz along with his client announced that she had indeed signed a deal with Invicta, the all women's MMA promotion and would debut at the next card coming up in April.
Dana White revealed on Saturday when speaking to reporters that the UFC had a plan in place for Cyborg that included her fighting for Invicta, but ultimately she ended up asking for her release instead.
"So we were going to sign her to a contract and we were going to have her fight in Invicta, which means we pay all the bills for her to fight in Invicta. It would be under a UFC contract with all the perks and benefits of being a UFC fighter and would fight in Invicta. So instead of doing that they chose to not do that and fight in Invicta," White said to Bleacher Report. "If you can make logic out of that whole f—king situation, you're a better man than I am."
White said the plan was hatched when he spoke to Invicta FC president Shannon Knapp because he wanted to keep Cyborg in the UFC but allow her to fight in another promotion for the time being. Invicta currently has fighters at 145 pounds, whereas the UFC does not.
"We don't have a 145-pound division so we're going back and forth with these guys and this deal, so I called the girl Shannon Knapp who owns Invicta and said look if I do this deal with Cyborg and you give her fights over there, I'll pay the bills you put on the fights over there till I can figure out how this whole thing's going to go down. She goes absolutely no problem, we'd love to do it," White explained about the UFC working with Invicta.
"The next thing I know they want out of the contract and then they sign with them."
At this point, Cyborg is still signed with Invicta and fighting at 145 pounds, and hypothetically she could still eventually land in the UFC. For now she has been completely released from the promotion, and the UFC no longer foots the bill.
"Thanks Tito," White said with a laugh when talking about the entire ordeal.
Whatever the reasoning was behind the deal, Cyborg is no longer under UFC contract and now has a deal with Invicta. She will debut in early April against Ediane "India" Gomes as part of the next major Invicta card.
The question remains, however: Will Cris "Cyborg" Santos ever appear in the UFC?
Damon Martin is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report, and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.
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