Cris Cyborg has responded to Dana White’s recent claim that she is afraid to sign to fight Amanda Nunes in a rematch of their UFC 232 clash.
That fight, as we all know, stood as one of the biggest shocks of 2018 – not simply because of the fact that Nunes was able to dethrone her legendary Brazilian adversary – but also, due to the fact that she did it in under a minute by way of knockout.
Now, after Nunes’ UFC 239 victory over Holly Holm, talks of a rematch between the two have been widespread and with Felicia Spencer looking to hand Cyborg her second consecutive loss at UFC 240, if she is unsuccessful, one would have to assume that the two greatest fighters in women’s MMA history will run it back.
Speaking in a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Dana claimed that the former champion Justino and her hesitance in fighting Nunes has been the only thing preventing the UFC from setting up a rematch between the two.
“She wants Cyborg. She wants the Cyborg fight. I don’t think Cyborg wants that fight. I think it’s pretty obvious why she wouldn’t want that fight: it’s not a good fight for her. It’s a bad fight for her, and I get it.
“I don’t think she’s afraid. She’s been fighting for a long time and I think she’s at the point where she’s afraid to lose again. Losing again isn’t something she’s interested in.
“She doesn’t want to fight her. Amanda wants it, we want it, she doesn’t want it.”
Cyborg used a media opportunity this week to return fire at the UFC president, citing his lack of experience within the realms of fighting as a reason to discredit his opinion on the matter.
Of course, the pair have had their clashes in the past and for quite a large portion of her prime years, Cyborg was not even fighting as a UFC athlete.
Since her signing and the creation of the 145lb division to house her, it has been clear that there has been a strain of sorts on the relationship between both parties and with this latest back-and-forth, they may well have seen things hit a new low.
“You think I’m surprised when Dana says things like this? I’m not. I’m gonna be surprised if Dana White says something nice for me.
“It’s not new for me. And just challenge, I go over there and do my best. Dana White’s never stepped in the cage.
“He never fight before, he doesn’t know the fighter life because he’s the promoter.” (via MMAFighting)
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena