Dana White Reveals No One Would Fight Cyborg Except Leslie Smith

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The MMA world was dealt a bit of exciting news yesterday (March 28, 2016) when it was unveiled that Invicta FC champion Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino would finally make her UFC debut against Leslie Smith at May 14’s packed UFC 198 card from Curitiba, Brazil.

It was exciting to see Cyborg making her way to the Octagon after years of unfulfilled hype centered around her rumored bout against former women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, yet the MMA community couldn’t help but ponder if the UFC was setting Smith, who has fought at flyweight as recently as late 2013, for a squash match against the hulking ‘Cyborg,’ who cuts a significant amount of weight to make 145.

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One fan voiced that concern to UFC President Dana White on Twitter, asking him if he was simply setting ‘Cyborg’ up for an easy win as he supposedly did with Conor McGregor and Sage Northcutt recently, which obviously backfired.

White’s response was that Smith was the only one willing to fight Justino, so she deserved respect:

It’s no surprise to see White defend the UFC’s decision, yet it’s also not all that difficult to see a realistic scenario where no other female fighter wants to face the dominant champion on short notice in her home country, as well. ‘Cyborg’ hasn’t lost a MMA fight since her debut way back in 2005, and she is regarded as the most powerful and brutalizing female in the sport today for good reason.

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But we’ve seen many ‘sure things’ get destroyed in recent months, and the UFC’s current list of champions definitely reflects that. That doesn’t mean that Smith is going to pull off a monumental upset, but from the sound of things, she’s the only one willing to try.