Cris “Cyborg” Santos has asked to be released from her UFC contract.
Cyborg’s manager and UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz told Inside MMA Friday that she wanted out of her contract because the company wanted her to drop down to 135 pounds. Cyborg was the 145-pound champion in Zuffa when the UFC bought Strikeforce. Zuffa is the parent of both companies, so Cyborg’s contract carried over when Strikeforce was assimilated into UFC. However, she often struggled to make weight in Strikeforce’s featherweight division.
Ortiz went on to say that Santos originally wanted a three-fight deal, with a fourth against Ronda Rousey, but she wanted to fight at 140 pounds. The UFC didn’t seem to like that idea, and Cyborg wasn’t happy with the alternative, which would include staying under her current contract but fighting for Invicta, an all-women’s MMA promotion company. Conversely, the odds of Rousey — who is the 135-pound champion in the UFC’s newly created bantamweight division — fighting outside her weight class are slim.
“For her to get to down to 135 pounds is physically impossible for a woman,” Ortiz said. “For a man it’s different because we have a lot more water weight to take off. For Cris Cyborg to get down to that weight, she’s going to be 3 to 4 percent body fat.”
Since the UFC currently has no intention of adding a 145-pound women’s division, Cyborg’s options are extremely limited and boil down to one alternative: leave UFC and go somewhere else.
“Right now we’re actually waiting for the UFC to release her,” Ortiz said. “We asked for them to release her. Dana White actually talked to me yesterday. They gave me an offer. I went to Cyborg, she says she doesn’t want to do it, and we just asked for a release.”
Ortiz continued, “If they’re not having a 145-pound weight class, what else can they do? As of now, she’s gonna be released, and maybe we’ll go looking somewhere else.”
Cyborg’s last fight was a title defense against Hiroko Yamanaka on December 17, 2011. She was stripped of her title after she tested positive for steroids. In an interview with Sherdog, Rousey slammed Cyborg for her positive test.
“I think she was a detriment to women’s MMA. I think that no little girl is going to watch Cris Cyborg fight and want to be like her one day,” Rousey said. “I don’t think that she’s a good example. I think it was obvious all along that she was doping and I think it’s a really bad message to send to kids that you need to dope to be a champion.”
Rousey went on to say, “I think it’s better with her gone and I think that when she comes back — I plan on fighting her when she comes back and I plan on beating her when she comes back.”
You can watch Tito Ortiz talk about Cris “Cyborg” Santos below.
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