Decorated current Bellator MMA featherweight champion, Cris Cyborg has explained that leaving past home, the UFC has been the best career move for her — claiming how the promotion’s president, Dana White doesn’t like people who “go up against him“.
Cyborg, a former Strikeforce, Invicta FC, and UFC featherweight champion currently resides under the Bellator MMA banner, where she’s the promotion’s undisputed featherweight champion, having parted ways with the UFC following her unanimous decision win over former title challenger, Felicia Spencer back in the summer of 2019.
In the time since her split from the White-led promotion, Cyborg has returned under the banner of Scott Coker — where she bested then-champion, Julia Budd in her promotional bow back in January of last year to lift the undisputed championship. In successful defences since, the Curitiba native has bested both Arlene Blencowe, via submission, and two-time foe, Leslie Smith via a buzzer-beating knockout — the last of which came back in May in the main event of Bellator 259.
Parting ways with the UFC in some rather unceremonious circumstances, footage emerged of Cyborg speaking with White backstage following her win over Spencer, in which, White is alleged to have said that he knew Cyborg was attempting to score a rematch with two-weight gold holder, Amanda Nunes, and that whenever he was saying things in the media, they weren’t true.
After reports emerged, confirmed by Cyborg that the footage had been doctored, UFC president, White confirmed during a sitdown with Laura Sanko that the UFC were “out of the Cyborg business” and that they would waive her three-month exclusivity negotiation period, allowing her to field offers from other promotions, and how they would not attempt to negotiate a new contract with the Brazilian.
With their professional relationship more often than not tumultuous, Cyborg spoke with Brazilian outlet, AgFight recently — where she explained that leaving the UFC was the best career move for her, and how White likes people who say “amen” to him and don’t “go up against him“.
“The best thing for my career was leaving the UFC,” Cyborg said. “I have another thought and direction for my future. Anything connected with me and Dana White is going to get in trouble because he doesn’t like people who go up against him. He likes people who amen to him and I’m not like that. I have my principles and I follow them. It’s hard to work with people like that. You don’t have to accept it, but respect it.“
Cyborg went on to compare her working relationship with the above-mentioned Bellator leader, Coker, claiming that the two want to grow together, before explaining how the professional relationship she had with White wasn’t a “partnership“.
“We (Scott Coker and myself) are working partners,” Cyborg explained. “We both want to grow together. So it works. The relationship that I had with Dana White and that a lot of athletes have — you see, Jon Jones, it’s not a partnership. People want to take advantage of other athletes. Without the athletes, the event doesn’t happen.” (H/T BJPENN.com)
The 35-year-old’s final walk under the UFC’s banner came in the form of a co-headlining tilt at UFC 240 in Alberta, Canada where she scored a unanimous decision victory over one-time featherweight title chaser and fellow former Invicta FC gold holder, Spencer in a July 2019 triumph.