When it comes to MMA’s most dominant female, it’s had to ignore the rocky history Cris Cyborg has had with UFC President Dana White. Not always on the same page, the two have often butted heads over the years, more often than not with White dishing out some pretty low blows.
Which is why when the Invicta FC Champion finally signed with the UFC the news made global headlines and finally gave the legion of Cyborg supports the hope they’d longed for, for years.
With all the drama with Dana now apparently behind her, Cris is now garnering the respect she deserves as one of the sport’s top athletes. The Brazilian born fighter revealed to ESPN that her trip to UFC 208 was inspired by a Dana White personal invite.
“We were waiting for the [TUE application] results and speaking to my lawyer. Dana White ended up inviting me. He told me, ‘Come to the fight, maybe your next opponent will be the winner of this fight.’ It made me really happy. It made me feel like Dana appreciates what I’ve done for the sport. I know they made this division for me. I have a hard time cutting weight and I really didn’t want to accept the fight too soon. But I appreciate them having me out to see this fight and it makes me more motivated.”
That’s a complete 180 from where the relationship was just a couple short years ago, and it appears the UFC is positioning Cris to be the likely candidate as the staple champion for their new female featherweight division.
Cris went on to explain her new found mutual respect this duo has found for each other,
“In the beginning, when he said I was turning down fights, I don’t think he knew the reason. I never turn down fights. Anybody who follows my career knows that I accept fights. I’ve been training. And when this [drug test] issue is over, everyone will know it was about my health and I needed to take care of my health. I think now he respects my job more. He brought me to Brooklyn. That shows this. He opened my division. That shows this. It’s a business and I understand that. If we’re going to work together, we have to respect each other.”
While we still wait official word from USADA on the fait of Cyborg, all signs point to Cris fighting for the belt at least sometime in 2017.