Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White recently disclosed that Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino had declined two opportunities to have a match in the inaugural featherweight championship for the women’s division.
The Brazilian fighter, Cyborg, made her debut with the company earlier this year. The 31-year-old fighter has won both her fights so far.
White told MMAFighting that Cyborg turning down these two matches is “crazy.”
“I offered Cris Cyborg a title fight at 145 pounds a month ago. She had eight weeks to get ready for it, she said she couldn’t make the weight, said she couldn’t make 145 pounds. So then I offered her another 145-pound title fight for Brooklyn (UFC 208), she turned it down. She turned down two 145-pound title fights. One because she said she couldn’t make 145 pounds in eight weeks, and Joe Silva’s like, ‘If she can’t make 145 pounds in eight weeks, 145 isn’t the right weight class for her either,” he said.
White continued on to say that “there is no excuse” for Cyborg declining the two matches.
”First we offered her the fight against Holly Holm and then we offered her the fight against Germaine…She just turned the fight down.”
She has criticized the company for publicizing the fact that she has declined these matches without explaining her medical reasons for the refusal.
In the past, she has sacrificed her health in order to make weight for her fights. She had repeatedly asked UFC to create a 145-pound division, even threatening to leave the company if her request was denied.
In a recent statement, Cyborg gave her perspective on the matter.
“In my last weight cut, I almost died. I was in the bathtub cutting weight, and I thought, ‘I will die in this bathtub.’ It was the worst weight cut of my life. My nutritionist George Lockhart, who by the way, is a UFC employee, didn’t do an effective job with this birth control pill he indicated saying that would help me. But thank God, in a war, I made weight, cutting 24 pounds in a week. My body was retaining a lot of water. The last time I spoke with George Lockhart was in the locker room before my fight. He disappeared after the fight. I’m not working with him anymore,” she said.
The women’s division of UFC currently has only two divisions: strawweight, for 115-pound fighters, and bantamweight, the 135-pound class.
Former Bantamweight champion Miesha Tate has recently vocalized her support for the establishment of more weight divisions for women within the company.
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