Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino openly criticized the UFC for not promoting her as heavily, as opposed to if she had “blonde hair and blue eyes” when she appeared on FS1’s Speak for Yourself.
Recently UFC President Dana White appeared on the same program to respond to the Brazilian’s comments, courtesy of MMA Fighting, and explained the differences between ‘Cyborg’ and former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey when it comes to becoming a star:
“Let me ask you a question: what makes somebody a star?” White said. “What has been done with Ronda (Rousey) that hasn’t been done with Cyborg, as far as being a star? Ronda is a world champion, had the belt and everything else. We don’t have a belt in that (featherweight) division. We don’t have that weight division for Cyborg … because there aren’t enough good women at 145 pounds to create an entire division.”
“I actually run the business, I actually know what’s going on. She can say it’s B.S. (that there aren’t enough women). I actually know.”
White would then go on to discuss the possibility of the long awaited ‘Cyborg’ vs. Rousey bout that fans have been clamoring for, which White promised would happen if ‘Rowdy’ emerges victorious in her next bout come December:
“”Ronda Rousey makes a lot of money,” White said. “She gets a lot of attention. She’s doing movies. She has all kinds of other sponsorship deals and all these other things outside of the Octagon too. And listen, other people look at them and say, ‘hey, I should have that too. Why do I not have that too?’ And of course, that’s my fault. You know what I mean? That’s my fault because it’s not happening.
“”But the reality is this: Cris Cyborg is devastatingly good,” White continued. “She’s been destroying everybody right now. Her popularity is actually starting to go [up]. She’s getting bigger. Everybody wants it right here, right now. It doesn’t happen that way. I promise you this, Ronda has to come in and fight on December 30th. Okay? Ronda has to win, and the girl that she’s fighting is no pushover. She’s nasty and tough and Ronda’s got a fight on her hands there.
“She wins that fight, her and Cris Cyborg are eventually going to fight. Ronda wants that fight. It will be the biggest pay-per-view in UFC history.”
When pressed with the question of when ‘eventually’ actually is, White wouldn’t budge and said the UFC would have to wait and see after the result of Rousey’s upcoming bout with Amanda Nunes:
“We’ll see what happens,” White said. “This thing’s got to play out first and we’ll see what happens.”
Nunes will meet Rousey in the main event of UFC 207 for the UFC women’s bantamweight title live on pay-per-view (PPV), from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 30, 2016.