Cris Cyborg Asks for Release from UFC Contract


Cris Cyborg

Cris Cyborg

Everybody wants to see former Strikeforce champions Ronda Rousey and Cris “Cyborg” Santos fight, but as the days dwindle on, it looks less and less likely that it’s ever going to happen.

Things have devolved to the point that UFC Hall of Famer and current Cyborg manager Tito Ortiz on Friday night told Inside MMA that his client has asked to be released from her contract.

Cyborg was one of the fighters under contract with Zuffa, LLC when the UFC assimilated the Strikeforce roster. Zuffa, LLC is the parent company of both promotions, so Cyborg’s contract carried over to the UFC.

The problem is, Cyborg was the 145-pound champion and often struggled to make weight in that division. Rousey is the UFC’s first 135-pound women’s champion and neither she nor the UFC appear to want her to fight outside of that class anytime soon.

Cyborg, according to Ortiz, is willing to do the fight, but only at a catchweight of 140 pounds.

The UFC seems unwilling to do that, at least not yet. Cyborg is unhappy with the UFC’s alternative offer, which Ortiz said includes the possibility of her remaining under contract, but then fighting for Invicta FC, the burgeoning all-women’s mixed martial arts promotion.

“UFC wanted to sign a huge deal with Cris Cyborg, but they wanted to stick her over in Invicta. It didn’t make sense to me,” said Ortiz on Inside MMA.

“I talked to Cyborg time and time again, asked her and asked her. She said I would love to do a three-fight deal; fourth fight would be against Ronda. Let’s get it done at 140, not be a fight for the 135-pound championship,” he continued.

“For her to get down to 135 pounds is physically impossible, for a woman. For a man it’s different because we have more water weight to take off. For Cris Cyborg to get down to that weight, she’s going to be three to four percent bodyfat.

“I’ve talked to her. She wants to start a family later on; she wants to have kids. Family is what it’s truly about.”

With that in mind, Cyborg just doesn’t want to try and go any lower than 140 pounds, and doesn’t really appreciate the alternatives, since the UFC has no intention of adding a women’s 145-pound division to its offerings any time in the near future.

If the UFC and Rousey aren’t willing to make the deal at 140 pounds, Cyborg is content to cut ties and take her chances elsewhere.

“Right now we’re actually waiting for the UFC to release her,” said Ortiz. “We asked for them to release her. (UFC president Dana White) actually talked to me yesterday. They gave me an offer. I went to Cyborg, she says she doesn’t want to do it, and we just asked for a release.

“If they’re not having a 145-pound weight class, what else can they do? As of now, she’s gonna be released, and maybe we’ll go looking somewhere else.”

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