Dana White says he will not offer Cris Cyborg new UFC contract

UFC President Dana White says he will not be offering Cris Cyborg a new UFC contract.

The future of Cyborg’s MMA career has been up in the air since she defeated Felicia Spencer last week at UFC 240, completing the fights her deal with the promotion.

Ordinarily – especially for big-name fighters – the UFC will have an exclusive three-month negotiating period with a fighter once their contract expires, but White said he is waiving that period and will not match any offers for her services, too.

However, White insists the UFC women’s featherweight division will continue without Cyborg.

Bellator MMA is rumoured to be looking at signing Cyborg. Scott Coker, current Bellator President, worked with Cyborg before at Strikeforce, the promotion where the Brazilian really made her name.

White broke the news in an interview with Laura Sanko.

“All this other bulls**t she’s putting out there, again, to avoid fighting Amanda Nunes. Message received, I get it,” White said in the interview on Friday [transcript via MMA Fighting]. “I’m going to release her from her contract. I will not match any offers. She is free and clear to go to Bellator or any of these other organizations and fight these easy fights that she wants. Done. Done deal.

“I will literally today have my lawyer draft a letter to her team that she is free and clear to go wherever she wants. We’re out of the Cyborg business.”

While White and Cyborg exchanged plenty of words before she was ever signed with the UFC, their relationship appeared to have improved once she was on the roster.

However, since Cyborg’s loss to dual-champion Amanda Nunes, said relationship between Cyborg and White seemingly broke down.

White claimed Cyborg was trying to avoid fighting Nunes again. Cyborg accused White of lying about that and damaging her brand in the process.

White insists he has no issue with Cyborg, explaining his stance throughout much of the interview. Though, he does maintain his belief that Cyborg does not want a rematch against Nunes to win back her UFC women’s featherweight gold.

He even pointed out how he had dealt with fighters who he had a worse relationship with in the past.

“I don’t hate Cyborg and I’m not trying to destroy Cyborg, all this craziness that she’s talking,” White said as he was bringing the topic to a close.

“Do you know how many fighters I’ve dealt with over the years, people that I really didn’t like like Tito [Ortiz]? Tito doesn’t like me and I don’t like Tito and we haven’t and we didn’t but we still got fights done. We still did business.”

Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes is an MMA writer who has covered the sport since 2013 for publications such as Vice Sports, Fightland, Sherdog and now Fighters Only, where he serves as freelance digital editor.