Former UFC women's featherweight champion Cris Cyborg has said she's "very happy" with how her future is shaping up after leaving the promotion, confirming she is almost ready to announce her new contract.
Cyborg, 34, recently posted a video on her official YouTube channel and said she expects to announce her new deal within the next month:
The Brazilian fighter (21-2-1) recently came to the end of her contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship and did not agree to new terms. Per Jed Meshew of MMAFighting.com, she said:
"I believe I'll sign my new contract in less than 30 days. I'll be online to tell everybody about my new place where Cyborg will be welcome. I have to thank Dana [White] for sending me a letter two days after my win. It really helped me to negotiate.
"I'll be back to Brazil soon, for sure. It's part of my plan for the new contract I sign, and I am very happy."
Cyborg endured a rocky relationship with UFC President Dana White during her time representing the brand, particularly in the final months of her contract.
The veteran combatant fought for Strikeforce and Invicta FC before finally making her UFC debut against Leslie Smith in May 2016.
Cyborg most recently defeated Felicia Spencer via unanimous decision at UFC 240 in July, and White suggested to ESPN's Brett Okamoto afterward that it was unlikely she would extend her stay:
Brett Okamoto @bokamotoESPN
Latest from Dana White on situation with Cyborg. I don’t see this ending up with Cyborg back under UFC contract but we will see. I personally believe Cris would fight Amanda again, but it’s more complicated than that when you’re talking about signing a new deal. https://t.co/WxDOVLSJ0D
Cyborg left with a 6-1 record in the UFC; her only defeat in the promotion was a devastating first-round knockout loss to incumbent featherweight and bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes.
Cyborg clarified she won't be returning to the UFC and touched upon the platform she helped build for Nunes and the rest of the featherweight division:
"[The UFC] is in the past. It's in the past since my last fight. I put it in the past in my heart. I believe I made a lot in the UFC. I believe I'm one of the girls who fought in the UFC who has more wins than losses. I believe all places I've been had something special in it.
"With the UFC, I wanted to be fighting in the UFC. I went through all the hard time cutting weight to make my division and they made it. Amanda is the champion; there is a division. Every moment of my life I start a project, and the UFC project was to have my division. I put an effort to get down to the division. I made it, and there is a division now."
It looked likely for some time that Cyborg could depart the UFC. She repeatedly dismissed White's suggestions that she turned down the chance to rematch Nunes, with the promotion allegedly intent on Cyborg signing a new deal to get that fight.
She added: "When I ended my cycle with the UFC, I had two choices. The option I chose, where I am now, is the option where I see my future grow. I'll be fighting more times a year. I won't have any trouble. I'll be happy. That's what I see."
Following her July win over Spencer, footage from backstage at UFC 240 was posted via Cyborg's YouTube channel that showed White telling her (accompanied by subtitles), "Whenever you hear me saying stuff [in the media], I'm not saying the truth."
However, Cyborg later apologised and admitted people within her camp had doctored the footage to edit White's words:
Following a messy conclusion to her time in the world's leading mixed martial arts organisation, one of the sport's most dominant forces is on the cusp of a fresh start in the Octagon elsewhere.