UFC President Dana White took to the warpath Thursday with a protracted verbal tirade against elite female fighter Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino and recent critics of one of the UFC's top stars, Ronda Rousey, who earlier this week referred to Justino as "it."
"She's an 'it,'" Rousey said in the article. "It's not good for the women's division. It's not good at all."
Given a chance to address the comments Thursday, White did so by comparing Justino's appearance to that of 37-year-old, male middleweight Wanderlei Silva and, at one point, stomping around the stage in a pantomime of Justino "in a dress and heels."
"What Ronda's saying is [Justino has] taken so many drugs that she's probably not a woman anymore," White said at the media gathering, which was attended by Bleacher Report. "She's not a transgender fighter. She didn't have a surgery...I think that this is the fight business. People say mean things about each other."
White compared the "it" comment with Justino calling Rousey a "chicken."
"Ronda called her a [expletive] cheater," White said. "She called her an 'it.' [Justino] calls Ronda a chicken. Is Ronda a chicken? Huh? Should Ronda be offended by being called a chicken? Grow the [expletive] up, everybody."
Check the video, courtesy of MMAFighting.com, to listen to White's full comments on the matter:
Justino—who is currently affiliated with Invicta Fighting Championship, among other combat sports promotions—and the UFC have attempted to negotiate a contract more than once. The two sides have, for various reasons, never reached an agreement. Many observers consider Justino to be a top challenger to (or a better fighter than) Rousey.
Justino tested positive once, in 2012, for a banned steroid. She has said numerous times since that she no longer uses performance-enhancing substances and does not believe it is fair to be judged in perpetuity on one mistake.
That plea has apparently fallen on deaf ears, at least in White's office. White's tirade continued as he said Justino resembled "Wanderlei Silva in a dress and heels."
"I said, when I saw her at the [World MMA Awards], that she looked like Wanderlei Silva in a dress and heels. And she did," White said. "Did she not? Who wants to dispute that she didn't look like Wanderlei?"
White then proceeded to stand and stomp around the stage in an apparent mocking of Justino.
"Walking up the stairs, jacked up on steroids beyond belief," White continued. "And looking like Wanderlei Silva in a dress and heels."
White, when asked whether he believed Justino was still using steroids, answered, "I don't know."
He also said he has not completely ruled out signing Justino, noting that "I'm not saying it could never be done."
All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.