Dana White Pulls Plug On Cris Cyborg’s Contract

The tense situation between Cris Cyborg, Dana White and the UFC took a dramatic twist yesterday with the UFC president claiming that the Brazilian star was being released from the promotion with immediate effect.

“First of all, I don’t have this horrible relationship with Cyborg,” White said in an official UFC interview. “Things were said before she came into the UFC but I think we’ve covered that and her and I have put that type of stuff behind us but the stuff that’s being said now and I was in the gym yesterday and “Outside the Lines” story was absolutely ridiculous.

“All this other (expletive) that she’s putting out there – again, to avoid fighting Amanda Nunes. Message received. I get it. I’m going to release her from her contract. I will not match any offers.

“In context the way that everything happened in the old days with Cyborg this started in 2012 when she tested positive for using steroids by the California Athletic Commission. In 2014, Cyborg did an interview with Kevin Iole where she admitted to cheating and taking steroids. In April 2014, Iole then did an interview with Ronda Rousey and Ronda said ‘I don’t care if she injects horse semen into her eyeballs, I’ll still fight her, I’m not speaking for the rest of the 135-pound division, I’m just speaking for myself’. Then Ronda said that woman has taken so many drugs that she’s not a woman anymore, she’s an it,” White explained.

“So then once she said that, I was doing a media scrum after a fight, again this is in 2014, and I was asked about Ronda’s comments, about what Ronda had said about Cyborg. The media was asking me if I thought it was insensitive and wanted me to comment on it and I said this is the fight business. Mean things are said. Ronda and Cyborg had been going back and forth saying a lot of things about each other and the fact of the matter was Cyborg did cheat and she did take steroids. She took the same performance enhancing drug that Ben Johnson won the Olympics with. It’s a very dangerous steroid that she was on and you’re talking about a time when we were trying to clean up the sport.

“Then they were asking about Cyborg and I said to the media ‘guys did you see her at the MMA awards? Did you not think she was on steroids? She got up to get up to get her award and she walks up the stairs and I was saying that she looked like Wanderlei Silva in a dress. What I meant was she had the same physique as Wanderlei Silva. Then one month later Wanderlei Silva evades a drug test and gets a three year suspension from the sport.

““I never came out and bullied or said anything about Cyborg. I was asked a question by the media. So now for hacks to throw up a 15 second clip of me saying that is taken completely out of context and we talked about this, Cyborg and I, before she came in the UFC. Let’s not forget, we signed her in 2015 to a deal with Invicta and then brought her into the UFC in 2015.

“It’s 2019. What is this narrative? Where is this coming from? It’s an absolute smoke screen to not fight Amanda Nunes.”

White then went on to confirm that Cyborg is now a free agent.

“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.

“I don’t know what it is, but bad strategy. I don’t hate Cyborg. I’m not trying to destroy Cyborg. All this craziness that she’s talking – do you know how many fighters I’ve dealt with over the years? People 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.

“Look at the Jon Jones stuff that has happened and many, many other things that have happened with different fighters,” White said. “But we get through it. We figure it out. We get through it and we move on. But this is a completely different animal than anything I’ve ever dealt with before.

“This is a woman that doesn’t want to fight the champion no matter what she says. I am giving up my rights to her contract to matching her contract to anything. I’m giving it up. There you go. You’re not being bullied. Nothing like that. I’m going to let you go. If you don’t want to fight Amanda and you don’t want to be here that bad, then why would I want you here?”

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously FightOfTheNight.com) in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.