Cristiane Justino is again unhappy with her promoter.
On Tuesday, the women’s featherweight title contender vented at not being given a proper push from UFC officials, whom she signed with while still fighting under the all-female Invicta FC banner.
“My next fight will be my 6th fight on UFC contract,” “Cyborg” tweeted. “Imagine how much bigger the cyborg brand would be if they had all been in the UFC.”
Justino (17-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) previously has clashed with the UFC over her treatment. But prior to her outburst, she seemed to be on positive footing while she waits for a title shot against champ Germaine de Randamie (8-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) at UFC 214, a pay-per-view event that takes place July 29 at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Now, it appears Justino is back at odds with the industry-leader. After UFC commentator Brian Stann was prompted to weigh in on the issue, she pinned a message on her Twitter account.
“I missed the negative things @BrianStann had to say about me but hope (UFC matchmaker) @seanshelby brings them up when we meet with (UFC co-CEO Ari Emanuel).”
Justino cited former champ Holly Holm (10-3 MMA, 3-3 UFC) and current titleholder Amanda Nunes (14-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) as examples of the promotion’s star-making power, noting Holm has a “3-3 record but look at how her social media exploded with the company push.”
Ex-champ and rival Ronda Rousey’s (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) appearance on “Saturday Night Live” served as another jumping off point.
with Justino writing “My English no good for SNL but there are many opportunities. I live California not far @UFCONFOX home studio but I’ve never been once.”
She then added:
When her Twitter followers brought up “past transgressions,” referring to an ill-fated shot at the inaugural women’s featherweight title, a 2012 suspension for a steroid, and a recent failed drug test that produced an exemption from UFC anti-doping partner USADA, she pointed to the damage done to her brand by a pair of now-infamous disses from UFC President Dana White and commentator Joe Rogan.
The title challenger’s outburst prompted UFC commentator Brian Stann to weigh in on Justino’s on-again, off-again dispute with her promoter, noting some of the blame falls on the fighter.
“I agree with ‘Cyborg’ in terms of her Invicta (FC) fights,” Stann said Tuesday on his SiriusXM radio show, “Toe-2-Toe.” “If we (could’ve found) a way to have put her on the undercard or other portions instead of Invicta, maybe that would have been great to build her brand, no doubt. But there are things that she and her manager, who her manager is primarily the one who controls her Twitter account, have to realize here: They are not easy to work with, and I can attest to this.”
Stann said Justino no-showed a pre-fight interview with him for her octagon debut at UFC 198, received “special treatment” from the UFC for her fights, and yet lied to the promotion about her weight.
“When I called her first fight in the UFC, I speak to every single athlete,” Stann said. “I like to before they fight, before I call their fight. I feel like that’s what I owe them. I shouldn’t be in there speculating. I should be sure of where they trained, what they focused on, who their coaches are, what they would like me to talk about concerning their brand. I ask them all these questions. I talk to them about what they want to get done, what are the weaknesses and strengths they see in their opponent, all these things, and then it’s a secret. I don’t tell anybody. I don’t even tell (fellow UFC commentator) Jon Anik. Nobody knows what I’m going to say until they start making that walk.
“When I set up a time to speak to her, her manager gave me a time that was my appointment to speak to her. I call. (He) doesn’t answer. I go back to him to get a meeting and set up a time, and he gives me another time. I call. No answer. I call. No answer. So then I call George Lockhart, who I knew was sitting with her or was with her handling her weight cut. George answers the phone, and I say, ‘Hey George, is Cris busy right now, I had a time set to speak to her before this fight at UFC 198.’ (He said), ‘Bro, she’s sitting right next to me.’ I said, ‘OK, is her phone in her hand?’ He says yes. I go, ‘OK. Does she just no longer want to do this appointment?’ (He said), ‘I guess not, bro. I don’t know what to tell you.’ OK, no problem. But that doesn’t help me promote you. I actually told her manager, look, I understand what’s been said about this woman before – I am only looking to focus on the positive things and promote her as a fighter. I’ve never said anything negative about her, so she didn’t give me that opportunity to do so. OK. Fine.
“The other thing about her. She gets George Lockhart to live with her and be there for her entire camp – cook all of her food. She didn’t pay for that. UFC paid for that. That’s a pretty massive advantage. That’s special treatment. That’s pretty awesome – an entire weight class made for her. She did turn down fights; I know that that did happen. She was hard to work with with them and did turn down fights. More importantly, there was a time where she decided to lie about her weight and talk about her weight cut. For some reason, she started tweeting out her weight at a current time during her cut; the UFC was able to verify and they didn’t really go too public with this, but there were some issues there too where she was lying about her weight at the time.
“I’m not saying she’s 100 percent wrong in some of the things she’s putting out there, but she’s not doing herself any favors on the flip side by being so difficult to work with.”
Stann appeared to mistake Justino’s longtime boyfriend Ray Elbe for her manager, George Prajin, who negotiates on behalf of the fighter with the UFC (Stann wasn’t immediately reachable for comment). Justino’s Twitter account is also used to promote the website BJPenn.com.
Stann, who segued into commentary after a successful career as a WEC champion and UFC contender, indicated Justino could learn a lot from stars like Rousey and UFC lightweight champ Conor McGregor when it comes to working with the UFC.
“One of the things that has helped Conor McGregor and Ronda get their push is that they saw this as a mutually beneficial agreement among businesses – the fighter being their own business, and they were good partners in this whole thing,” he said. “And man, I think ‘Cyborg’ still has an opportunity to be a great partner, and she can turn this around because she’s right. She’s absolutely a draw. At a time where they need more stars, here’s one ripe for the picking that I think people scratch their head about – wow, this woman is a phenomenal athlete. She’s smashing people. I think they’ve got a shot here.
“I am hoping they can fix this. I’m hoping they can find a way to move this forward and … there’s still time to patch this up and do a better job on both sides of promoting this. But man, in my experience, she is one of the more difficult fighters to work with from my perspective, and it’s a shame because I’ve done nothing but say positive things about her and her training.
“I’ve said it before – people want to associate her with the steroids and things of that nature. I’m telling you, this woman is a phenomenal athlete. It’s a shame she ever got caught up with that early in her career, because she never needed it. I’ve watched her train. I’ve watched her cut the weight. I’ve watched her work out. Wow. It’s impressive. Very impressive, and it’s a shame that conversation can’t be had because of other things, and I think it needs to be had, and I think people will recognize over time, and I’d love to be an analyst that helps usher in that conversation about this athlete. So we’ll see what happens. I wish her and her camp the best in the future, and I hope that this can get healed and she can get promoted better.”view original article >>