During her appearance on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino revealed a rather scary piece of information.
“I flew to America from Brazil at 168lbs,” said the Invicta FC featherweight champion. “Today, I woke up at 165.”
On Saturday night, Justino is scheduled to face Lina Landsberg in the headline bout of UFC Fight Night 95 at the Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brasilia. On Friday, the 31-year-old will step atop the official scales, hoping that she is at or under the 140-pound catchweight limit which has been set for the fight.
In other words, for the less talented mathematicians among you, she has 25lbs to cut in just four days.
As terrifying as that sounds at it’s most basic level, it becomes even more distressing when one revisits the shocking footage that emerged from the final hours of Justino’s last cut to 140lbs – prior to UFC 198 back in May.
But, according to the fighter herself, she was just 153lbs at the beginning of that particular fight week.
Strangely, ‘Cyborg’ told Helwani that the only difference between this camp and the last was the addition of birth control pills, something that she took based on the advice of her nutrition coach, the highly-regarded George Lockhart.
“In this camp, my nutrition coach, he starts giving to me birth control, and I never take this in my life, and I take this three months, every day,” she said. “My coach says it will be good for me, I believe in him, and, man I fly from America to Brazil 168 pounds. My body will hold more water than normal, and I don’t think this will really help my body.”
“This camp I don’t touch 150. It’s really scary, I look in the mirror, I trained double and I don’t know why I don’t touch ’50. Just something different in this camp is I take birth control. Last fight, I make 140, it was successful(via MMAFighting).”
Helwani was understandably concerned by Justino’s revelations, and questioned why the UFC is forcing her to compete in an “arbitrary weight-class that doesn’t even exist”.
“I don’t understand it either but I think if I had blonde hair and blue eyes, they would have my division,” his guest said in response.
“I am really upset about this, because the girl that I will fight is 145-pounder and she is having to lose weight as well.”
Having ‘Cyborg’ make 140lbs does seem to have some logic however.
In recent days, UFC president Dana White has once again been teasing fans with the prospect of a super-fight between the Brazilian and former bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. With Justino unwilling, and almost certainly unable, to cut to the 135-pound bantamweight limit and Rousey not keen on a jump up to featherweight, that fight would have to happen right in the middle – at 140lbs.
If company officials are seriously thinking about pumping large amounts of money into the promotion of that showdown sometime down the line, they will want proof that Justino can reliably make the weight.
One has to wonder if White will continue to talk about that fight in light of Justino’s claims on Monday.
Earlier this year, it emerged that the UFC was introducing new measures to curb the practice of extreme weight-cutting. Starting at UFC 200 in July, fighters were told that they must come into fight week weighing no more than eight percent above the limit of their intended weight-class.
However, this wasn’t a particularly stringent measure, as those who failed to do so would not be automatically pulled from scheduled fights. Rather, they would be monitored more closely over the days that followed.
You can watch the entire interview with Justino below…