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The only question on everyone’s mind after Cris “Cyborg” Justino made her UFC debut a successful one with a first round knockout of Leslie Smith at UFC 198 was what would be next for the hard-hitting Brazilian.
Currently, there is no weight class in the UFC for the Invicta FC World Featherweight Champion to compete in, which is why Cyborg’s fight with Smith was at a catchweight of 140 pounds. Depending on whom you ask, Cyborg could either find herself defending the Invicta featherweight title or back in the Octagon for her next fight.
“UFC Tonight” reported that there were plans in place for Cyborg to return to the UFC as early as UFC 201 on July 30 in Atlanta. It would be another 140-pound catchweight fight and her opponent would be Germaine de Randamie, a Dutch kickboxer who scored a scintillating first round TKO victory over Anna Elmose at UFC Fight Night 87.
But Cyborg balked at the reports and fired back with her desire to return to Invicta for her next fight via Twitter.
— Cris Cyborg (@criscyborg) May 19, 2016
She continued with her rant in Portuguese and explained that the only opponents she would fight at 140 pounds are Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey.
“My next title defense will be in my weight 145 pounds title defense in Invicta Fights. Catchweight only with Ronda Rousey or Miesha Tate,” she wrote in a series of tweets. “I’m a champion at 145 pounds, #UFC doesn’t have my division, that’s fine! But they don’t have the right to erase my division. No point in trying to manipulate my fans, I’ll be defending my belt next fight! I’ve proven I can make 140 pounds. I did my part.”
Cyborg continued by explaining the difficulties she had with making weight for the fight with Smith and stated that a video documenting her weight cutting process would soon be available for the fans to see.
However, one of the names that Cyborg didn’t bring up but could possibly lure her back to the UFC is Holly Holm. The former UFC women’s bantamweight champion expressed her interest in facing Cyborg when she appeared on 120 Sports.
"In boxing, I fought in three weight classes," Holm said while explaining that facing Cyborg at a catchweight is a fight she would be interested in. "I'm not gonna say that I'm against going at 140. I actually think Cyborg might able to do 135. Who knows? But that's definitely something that could be an option for the future. I'm actually really happy for her victory. I really like Cyborg. I think she's a great gal."
At this point, there’s no telling where Cris “Cyborg” Justino will end up next but she certainly has plenty of options.