It was something almost everyone expected – and it has finally been confirmed. After her UFC run ended in turmoil, one of the world’s most formidable female fighters has finally left the promotion. Cris Cyborg always looked good in the UFC, even though she suffered her only loss since her MMA debut.
Before that, she captured the featherweight title and scored multiple impressive wins. Though she did rebound to go out on a victory, she couldn’t mend her relationship with the promotion – namely, it’s owner Dana White.
White and Cyborg have a long history of problems. It stems back to when White and other UFC employees like Joe Rogan made comments about her appearance, comparing her to a man and questioning her anatomy.
They would stop that talk when she signed with the promotion, though there was still some trouble. After her loss to Amanda Nunes, there were some scheduling disputes regarding the rematch. This led White to tell the media Cyborg didn’t want a rematch – a claim Cyborg vehemently denied on multiple occasions.
The situation got even worse when the two had a meeting backstage, where Cyborg told White that he knew deep down that what he was saying about her refusing a rematch wasn’t true. She accused him of hurting her brand – but some shady video editing by her team did the same to White.
A poorly edited video was doctored to show White admitting to lying – something he never admitted to. That’s not to say the UFC’s president is a beacon of integrity, but he was misrepresented in that video. Cyborg would later apologize for the incident, saying she did not carry it out. White would later thank her on social media.
There was apparently no way to salvage the relationship, though, as the former featherweight queen did not resign when her contract expired. White said he has no regrets about losing her from the roster, wishing her a nice life and freeing her of any contractual ties.
Now Cyborg has signed with Bellator MMA in a record-breaking contract that will feel familiar. The promotion is headed by Scott Coker, who also led the Strikeforce promotion where Cyborg previously competed. Coker called her the most dominant female fighter in the history of the sport, and it’s hard to deny that claim.
She has a more consistent record than the likes of Ronda Rousey or Amanda Nunes. Even though Nunes beat her, and would thus be ranked higher, the win seemed like a fluke, with Cyborg’s poor game plan being the biggest factor in her defeat. In terms of wins, losses, and finishes alone, there’s no female out there like Cyborg.
The UFC’s women’s roster isn’t exactly hurting. While featherweight doesn’t have a ton of contenders around, strawweight just crowned a new champion – the first-ever Chinese born UFC titleholder, Weili Zhang.
Should White and Cyborg have tried harder to work out their issues? Or is she better off in Bellator?