Cris Cyborg happy to leave UFC era behind, insists Dana White tried to damage her brand

Ken Pishna
MMA Weekly
Cris Cyborg in the Octagon at UFC 222
Cris Cyborg in the Octagon at UFC 222

Though Cris Cyborg issued an apology to UFC president Dana White for releasing a doctored video of him, it appears that the UFC and Cyborg are still on a route to separation. Cyborg on Monday issued a statement, expressing her happiness to leave the UFC era behind in hopes of finding a new home that would more fully support her and her brand.

"I'm very happy God is faithful, I finished ERA UFC. I did my last fight, that means no one released me!" Cyborg wrote, addressing her CyborgNation fans.

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"Together we had ERA EliteXC, ERA Strikeforce, ERA InvictaFC and ERA UFC; all were successful! We will be starting a new ERA soon... I’m excited to know where will be our next ERA! The Cyborg Nation was already Giant before the ERA UFC even trying to delete us, imagine now that we will be in a boat that the Cyborg Nation will be welcome."

Cyborg finished out her UFC contract by defeating Felicia Spencer at UFC 240 on Aug. 3 in Newark, N.J. Though she was already looking forward to waiting out a period in which the UFC could match offers from other promoters, the situation exploded when Cyborg's team released a UFC 240 backstage video of her confronting White about a potential rematch with Amanda Nunes.

That video forced a reaction from White, who released his own video via the UFC, stating that he was done dealing with Cyborg. He promised to release her from any contractual obligations, including the matching period clause in her final contract. "We're out of the Cyborg business," he stated.

Following White's video post and promise to let Cyborg walk away without matching any other offers, Cyborg issued an apology for the doctored video footage. White accepted the apology, saying simply, "Thank you, Cris."

That would have seemed to open the door to a possible reconciliation, but Cyborg's Instagram post on Monday appears to shoot down any such idea. 

In addition to her initial statement, Cyborg responded to several comments on her post, condemning White's lack of respect for her. She also noted that the UFC has done little to build the women's featherweight division, leaving her with few opportunities to fight on a regular basis.

"I’m going to a place people knows about the Word respect! Uncle Dana don’t want give the rematch," Cyborg wrote. "I can’t be stuck (with a promotion that) don’t have my division. I can’t be fighting 1 time per year. And the boss try damage my brand. I’m fighter and human (being) too."

As of the time of publication, there had been no official word on whether or not White had followed through on his promise to officially release Cyborg from any contractual stipulations, such as the matching period, which was initially set at 90 days.

Bellator promoter Scott Coker, upon hearing that White intended to release Cyborg, told MMAJunkie's Steven Marrocco, “That’s great news. I’ll be calling (Cyborg’s manager) Audie (Attar) in the next five minutes.” Coker clarified that he intended to be sure that Cyborg was clear of any contractual obligations before making any offers to her or her camp.

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Coker isn't likely to be the lone suitor for Cyborg's services once she is officially clear of her UFC contact. ONE Championship has been making a strong push to reach the U.S. market, making her an ideal candidate for them. The Professional Fighters League is also beginning to invest heavily in the women's side of the sport with the likes Sarah Kaufman and Kayla Harrison as potential match-ups already on the roster.

As of right now, however, it appears that the UFC and Cyborg are destined to part ways without Cyborg rematching Nunes, the woman that took the UFC featherweight championship from her to become the promotion's first female two-division champion.

Dana White: "I don't blame Cyborg for not wanting (to fight Amanda Nunes)"

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