Former UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg is in talks with the world’s leading MMA advertising about a new contract, according to her representative Audie Attar, who spoke to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani on his MMA show. Cyborg has just one fight left her contract after her shocking KO loss to Amanda Nunes in UFC 232, but her and her representatives have been clear with the UFC that they are interested in a reunion.
According to Attar, Cyborg hopes to fight at UFC 237, which takes place this May at Curitiba, Brazil. The principal event of that event will be headlined by UFC women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas carrying on No. 1 competitor Jessica Andrade, and it makes a lot of sense to pump up the undercard using a fighter of Cyborg’s popularity and name value, notably in Brazil. If Cyborg does fight in UFC 237, that is going to be the final fight on her contract, as he has just 1 battle left it without any winner’s clause due to losing the buckle.
The UFC would be smart to bring back Cyborg on a new deal. She has proven to be a small pay-per-view draw at a time when the UFC wants fighters who market shows, and although she will not be economical to re-sign, she is shown to be well worth the price. As far as women’s fighters go, there are not many more intriguing fighters than Cyborg and there sure aren’t many with considerably more title value than she’s. The UFC absolutely should re-sign her provided that the ask is appropriate.
Even though it would be wonderful to see Cyborg receive a rematch with Nunes seeing like she had been on a 13-year win streak before dropping her belt in mad fashion, it is very unlikely Nunes would take that struggle. The rumor is that Nunes wants to battle Holly Holm next for the UFC women’s bantamweight championship, which would leave Cyborg without a upcoming logical competitor. There are not a lot of featherweights in the UFC right now, but both which do stand out are Megan Anderson and Cat Zingano. Anderson just beat Zingano in contentious fashion following a flea sliced her eye and the fight was stopped in the first round at UFC 232, but Anderson did get her hand raised. If the UFC wanted to perform Cyborg against Anderson in Brazil, that is a struggle which produces a lot of sense.
Cyborg will fight out that last fight of her contract, but in the case she will enter free agency, she will have a lot of suitors. Evidently, Bellator would require a run at her ex-Strikeforce promoter Scott Coker is in charge of the company. But I would guess RIZIN and ONE would also take a run at her, and of course that the WWE, Golden Boy MMA and even some boxing promotions. Fundamentally, Cyborg will have plenty of options to select from. But if her agent has been sincere, she would like to return to the UFC, and it might be excellent for MMA fans if that is what happens.
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