Cris Cyborg Talks Move To Bellator, Fight With Amanda Nunes And More
Cris Cyborg is Bellator’s featherweight champion and one of the greatest female fighters of all time. In an exclusive interview with MiddleEasy, she talks about her move to Bellator, her damaged relationship with the UFC, her future plans, and more.
Few people have the type of legacy that Cyborg has, regardless of gender. Over the course of her career, she has won the UFC, Strikeforce, Invicta, and Bellator titles. Not only that, but she has completely dismantled most of her opponents in that time span, establishing herself as an extraordinarily dominant force in the cage.
The career of Cris Cyborg has also had its share of difficult and troubling moments, particularly with her UFC run. She never was treated with respect from Dana White, who initially forced her to cut to 140lb catchweight fights, despite it being unhealthy and massively difficult. Then when the UFC finally created a featherweight division, it was made haphazardly, with Cris not even fighting for the inaugural title. Moreover, when she lost her title to Amanda Nunes, she was chastised by White, who said she had no interest in fighting Amanda again, despite her saying otherwise.
Now Cyborg is signed to Bellator, where she is working under the leadership of Scott Coker yet again. This is something that she is quite happy about, as she feels much more respected. However, as she told MiddleEasy, the thought of an Amanda Nunes rematch is still in the back of her mind, especially as the fanbase has begun to think of Nunes as the female GOAT.
“You can hold any title in the world. If I don’t hold a title, people still know who I am, not just because of the title,” Cyborg said. “It doesn’t matter how many titles you hold. Are people are going to remember you when you have no title? People are going to remember me even if I hold no title. You don’t hear much about Amanda now, you don’t. It’s different titles, different champs make history.”
As for a rematch with Nunes, Cyborg says she is still very interested in that bout. She has been calling for a cross-promotion fight with the UFC, in order to get that fight. Although that seems unlikely, she does feel confident that things could go differently a second time around.
“I always train my best for every fight,” Cyborg said. “When I fought Amanda, I trained really hard for that fight, I was ready. (I don’t ever think like) I should have trained this way, or shouldn’t have missed training that day. No, I did my best. When I go to the cage, I leave it in God’s hands. I let God use me to bless Amanda that time, it’s what I was supposed to do. I think this happened for a reason, and maybe if it didn’t happen I would still be in the UFC, I would still be unhappy, and I’d still work with someone who doesn’t respect me. But this has happened and really opened my mind, and now I’m happy, really happy.
“For me, to have the opportunity to make the rematch that I wanted and asked for, and they didn’t give me, if the rematch is going to be on the table one day if it’s going to be with the UFC, or not with the UFC, at the end of her career or whatever. If it’s going to be in God’s plan, then for sure it is going to happen. I will do my best, and we will see what happens after.”
At this point the conversation switched to the topic of Ronda Rousey’s recent comments. However after that, the topic switched to the legacy of Cris Cyborg. Having won a variety of different titles is a massive accomplishment, but it is hard for her to pinpoint which of those belts mean the most to her.
“Every one of (my titles) has an amazing story. Strikeforce was my first one, so it’s very special to me. In the UFC I had so many problems and struggles for me being there, and then I held the title. Bellator opened a new door for me, a new era. Every one is special. In Invicta (I was there for a year, left and came back for two years). I think every one is important to me, I don’t have one special one. Maybe the Strikeforce one because it’s the first one and it’s special.”
As for the end of her career, Cyborg says she plans on concluding things under the Bellator banner. However she was quick to say that she still feels like she has several more good years left in the sport.
“I’m going to finish my career in Bellator. It’s my home, and I believe that. But I don’t think it’s the end yet, you know? I’m very motivated with my new deal, I’m very motivated with my title, and I can’t see the end yet. I feel healthy, I feel great, and I just want to do more for women’s MMA. I want to defend my title some more times, maybe have the opportunity for a boxing fight. I can’t see the end, I think I’m in the perfect point in my career.
“For me, I had a lot of challenges in my career, but I never had the opportunity to have a boxing fight. I got all of the most important belts in MMA. For me, if I have the opportunity to hold a boxing title it would be amazing for me to accomplish in my career. I have this dream in my heart, and we’ve talked about it. Bellator works with me, and they’re going to help make this dream come true, and open this opportunity for me. Let’s wait and see what my manager and Scott Coker have planned for me.”
You can watch the full interview below, and be sure to follow Cris on Instagram!
As of now, it is difficult for Cris Cyborg to plan out her next fight. However she is still training, and is waiting to find out if her next outing will be in a cage or a ring.