While it seemed that most of the other fighters gathered at the scene, some with cameras rolling, were happy to stand around and wait for a scrap to materialize, Chris Weidman felt that something should be done to ensure that the heated argument between UFC featherweight star Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino and strawweight Angela Magana at the recent UFC Athlete Retreat didn’t become physical.
A dirty look and one sternly delivered sentence from arguably the scariest woman to ever walk the planet quickly rid Weidman of his sense of moral obligation, however.
Justino’s subsequent attack on Magana made headlines. Unfortunately for Weidman, so did his understandable retreat from the situation, which was revealed by teammate Aljimain Sterling and UFC welterweight Ryan LaFlare on Twitter.
She's also punked @ChrisWeidmanUFC
— Ryan LaFlare (@RLaFlare) May 21, 2017
You forgot where she punked Weidman like a G! Never seen Weidman pivot away so fast 😂 https://t.co/Dx3KdsAc4q
— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) May 21, 2017
Weidman didn’t even attempt to deny it and took the whole thing in good humour.
Haha she pointed at me and I tucked my tail and ran https://t.co/h2I750vi4Z
— Chris Weidman (@chrisweidman) May 21, 2017
This is true. I learned my lesson fast !!! https://t.co/apyqpML5hk
— Chris Weidman (@chrisweidman) May 21, 2017
During an appearance on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Weidman described the incident in greater detail and eventually explained exactly why he had so readily relinquished the role of peacemaker.
“When we got off the bus, that girl, Magana, was right in front of me,” said the former UFC middleweight champion. “As I come off the bus, all I see is Cyborg run up to Magana’s face and they’re having words. I had no idea what was going on. I didn’t know if there was any beef. … I don’t follow (Magana) on Twitter so I didn’t realize what she was saying.”
“Basically, Cyborg was going nuts on her, like all the words you can think of. She was screaming ‘Who the f**k do you think you are?’ and talking like this and blah, blah, blah.
“Magana was kind of quiet and shocked. She was kind of smiling, like a nervous smile. I was thinking, ‘Oh my God’ because she’s way smaller than Cyborg.”
“All of sudden (Magana) realizes what’s going on around her. She sees that there are a lot of people around and she sees cameras coming out. She grew some balls and all of sudden she starts cursing back at Cyborg. I was thinking, ‘That’s not smart.'”
(Transcript via MMAFighting)
It was at this point that Weidman attempted to intervene.
“As soon as I saw (Magana) cursing back at Cyborg, I realize there is no one in between them and that something is going to go down,” Weidman said. “I started trying to break it up.”
“I came in like, ‘C’mon, guys, let’s calm it down,’ and as soon (as I did that) ‘Cyborg’ just stops screaming at Magana, looks at me and says, ‘Don’t touch me.’”
“I was like, ‘Alright, I’m good!’”
“So I backed up and then within a second (Cyborg) takes her hand and cracks Magana. Magana did a little shaky leg thing and right away she got teary-eyed. At least from what I heard, right away she started to say, ‘I’m calling the cops’.
“That was the first thing and then Cyborg just jetted out.”
A couple of days after the incident, entertainment media outlet TMZ reported that ‘Cyborg’ had been cited for misdemeanor battery by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. In a statement to the LVMPD, Magana claimed that the Brazilian fighter had punched her in the face, a claim which numerous fighter statements and videos support. Magana added that she had suffered “acute head injury, cervical strain, and laceration of the lip” as a result of the strike.
Though he was initially shocked by what he had witnessed, Weidman said that he has since read some of the disparaging tweets that Magana had posted about Justino and added that he could imagine being angered to the point of belligerence if he were ever the target of such a social media campaign.
“I had no idea what was going on,” Weidman said. “I was just thinking, ‘I can’t believe she just beat the s**t out of this little girl.’”
“That’s what was going through my head then, but when I saw some of the stuff she was saying to Cyborg I could understand. I don’t know why she would be saying stuff like that to Cyborg, especially if you know you could be seeing her.”
“If someone was talking s**t like that about me, I’d probably have something to say to them the next time I see them and we could probably be fighting. I do see where Cyborg went with that.”
“Unfortunately, in the world we live in today there are cops and lawsuits, so you can’t just punch people. You have to find other ways to resolve your issues.”
Weidman, who again acknowledged the humorous nature of his failed intervention, added that once he stepped between the two women, he had found himself in a no-win situation.
“The best part of it is, Dana White has the video,” Weidman said. “He showed me at this thing (we did), but I don’t know if he’s ever going to release it. It is hysterical the way I backtracked.”
“They were busting my balls but I have no shame. What am I going to do, step in there to Cyborg and say, ‘No, I will touch you’ and she kicks my ass? What am I gonna do kick her ass? Either way, I’m screwed.”
“What if she knocked me out? I may as well just retire then.”
You can certainly see where Weidman is coming from. Having suffered three straight defeats in the octagon, the last thing he needs is a filmed knockout loss to a female featherweight in a street fight, and it didn’t sound like ‘Cyborg’ was ready to back down.
Weidman will look to get back to winning ways and rehab his reputation a little on July 22nd when he faces the surging Kelvin Gastelum at the Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, New York.
‘Cyborg’ will also return to action later this month, as she faces Invicta FC bantamweight champion Tonya Evinger for the vacant UFC women’s featherweight title at UFC 214 in Anaheim, California on July 29th.
Last week TMZ reported that Justino has pleaded not guilty to the charge of misdemeanor battery which was leveled at her in the aftermath of the Magana altercation.
Magana, whose case against Justino is still pending, has not fought inside the octagon since a July 2015 defeat to Michelle Waterson and had no fights scheduled at the time of writing.