Before Ronda Rousey made women’s MMA a mainstream thing, there was Strikeforce/EliteXC star Gina Carano and her nemesis, Cris Cyborg, wowing fans with a “good versus evil” rivalry that had the bad guy winning in the end.
Of course, Cyborg was never really a “bad guy” – she was just a really badass fighter who’s pretty much unstoppable in the cage.
Since then, the sport has taken off for women, but in weight classes a bit below what Cyborg can safely get to, so she’s been stuck in a kind of limbo. The limbo has been all bad – she still gets to be one of the star attractions when the UFC comes to Brazil. However, in terms of championship fights…
Earlier this week, Dana White said the UFC had offered Cyborg some high-profile title fights at 145 pounds, and he made a big deal about her turning them down.
Here’s Cyborg’s side of the story, courtesy of MMAFighting:
In my last weight cut I almost died. I was in the bathtub cutting weight, and I thought, ‘I will die in this bathtub.’ It was the worst weight cut in my life. My nutritionist George Lockhart, who, by the way, is a UFC employee, didn’t do an effective job with this birth control pill he indicated saying that would help me. But thank God, in a war, I made weight, cutting 24 pounds in a week. My body was retaining a lot of water. The last time I spoke with George Lockhart was in the locker room before my fight. He disappeared after the fight. I’m not working with him anymore.
You can see that I give no interviews after the fight. I told UFC Brazil PR Lilian (Caparroz) that I wanted to cancel all my interviews and couldn’t travel. After all that, at home, I decided I would not fight at this weight anymore, that I would only fight at my division. And only with 12 weeks’ notice. For my last fight, they told me eight weeks before.
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.
After that, they invited me to fight again, but this time at my weight and for the belt, but with 10 weeks’ notice. Knowing that I was recovering, like I said, I told them I can fight anyone in March, but I need to take care of my body, and no mention of the fact that I’m dealing with severe depression and can’t have another brutal weight cut like before. This decision is more important than the belt or the division, I’m thinking about my health.
I thank my fans. We did it! I’ll soon be fighting in my division, where I’m the world champion. You and God are loyal. I’ll be ready to fight in March.