In the lead-up to last week's UFC 206, company president Dana White revealed that the promotion had finally relented and plans to open up a women's 145-pound division. He also revealed multiple offers to Cris “Cyborg” Justino to compete in a title fight in the newly formed weight class.
White went on to explain that, despite his attempts, Cyborg had shot down two title fight offers. Cyborg responded in kind, publicly explaining that health concerns over the timing of the fights was why she had rebuked the initial offerings. But now, she said she is done bickering with White in the media.
“She was offered two fights at 145 pounds, she turned them both down,” White recently told FOX Sports Australia. “The first fight, she said she only had eight weeks and that wasn't enough time to make 145 pounds. And then she gave no reason for the second time.”
In explaining her decision to decline the bouts, Cyborg said, “I got a call from the UFC offering me another catchweight fight, and I said I would not fight at this weight anymore. I needed a break to get my health back to normal because my body was weak, I was anemic… I told them I can fight anyone in March, but I need to take care of my body.”
Cyborg admitted that the UFC changed its offer to a featherweight championship, but she doubled down on her previous statement on Tuesday, telling AgFight that she would not entertain catchweight bouts any further (not even for Ronda Rousey) and that she needed time to recover from the devastating weight cut she underwent in September.
“I’m not going to answer (to Dana White in the media) anymore,” Cyborg said. “I already said that I wanted to take time and that I wouldn’t fight at 140 pounds anymore, (I’ll only fight) in my division. I will be ready to fight in March. I’m physically and mentally recovering from my last weight cut.”
While addressing the situation last week, White confirmed that the promotion was going to move ahead at featherweight, with or without Cyborg's participation.
“Yes, we're going to make a 145-pound division, whether it's with Cyborg or not,” he told FOX Sports.
Regardless of how the division develops, Cyborg sees it as a victory.
“If they are going to create a new (featherweight) division, I’m happy. That just proves that our dedication paid off. All women won another one.”