Cris Cyborg believes UFC president Dana White never respected her.
Cyborg departed the UFC last year following a public spat with White which led to her release. She has since joined Bellator where she became the women’s featherweight champion in January following her impressive TKO win over Julia Budd.
Reflecting on her time with the UFC, the Brazilian believes she never truly earned the respect of White before or after she joined the Las Vegas-based promotion.
“Before I went to the UFC, Dana White did not respect me,” Cyborg told MiddleEasy. “My fans put me (in the UFC). I think, with everything I did outside the UFC, before I went to the UFC I was already Cyborg. Everyone already knew me, everyone in the world knew who I am. I got the opportunity to fight in the UFC after this, but still they had problems.
“I always thought things were going to change. You know, maybe one day, if people met me in person, I thought that would change (their minds). But it didn’t change. I’m still doing my job. I fought before they had my division in the UFC. I fought at catchweight, and I had a lot of struggles but (support from my fans) made me keep going.”
Although things never improved relationship-wise with White, Cyborg has no regrets about her time with the UFC.
Instead, she is happy to have moved on and has no problems at Bellator where she already had a positive relationship with president Scott Coker from their Strikeforce days.
“I don’t know (where things went wrong with Dana White), and I don’t have to know,” Cyborg added. “I’m glad I worked with him, but it’s just business, you know? If he doesn’t like me personally or whatever, I’m not the first and I’m not the last one he’s had problems with. I’m just glad I don’t have to deal with this everyday anymore.
“(Scott Coker) treats his fighters different. You never see Scott blame any fighters online, or his team. You never see Bellator do that, because they know they need us for the events. The fighters make the events happen, and that deserves respect.”
What do you make of Cyborg’s latest comments?