Just over a year ago, Cris Cyborg's manager, UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz, held an incoherent press conference, during which he spoke at length, at one point confusing the name of his client with that of UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey. Later Cyborg stripped off her sweat shirt to reveal a tee reading "Ronda will be my b----" and then weighed herself, declaring that the scale said 160. Ortiz then thanked the UFC for complying with his request that Cyborg be released from her contract, so the former Strikeforce Women's Featherweight Champion could sign with Invicta, and fight in a higher weight division than the UFC has.
Ortiz repeatedly said that Cyborg could not make 135.
"I want to make sure as a manager to make the right decision for my fighters' future, health wise," said her then manager. "I don't want her dying because of cutting too much weight, we've seen that happen before in college wrestling. I want to make sure that doesn't happen under the UFC, someone under my wing, under my name, I don't want that to happen."
Ortiz also told MMAWeekly that her cardiologist said a drop to 135 could leave her infertile.
Since then Cris fought twice for Invicta, capturing their featherweight title.
On Friday, Justino released a statement to the media saying she planned to drop to 135, and retire Rousey.
“I am looking for a payday to retire you like I did Gina Carano," said Justino. "But to show it’s not only about money, I challenge you to a fight – winner takes all. Or better yet let’s fight for FREE. ANYTIME! ANYWHERE! Ask your daddy Dana to make it happen."
"Now I know critics will say 'I thought you said you would die if you made 135.' All I’m promising is that I will give 100 percent to try to get to 135 to make this plan happen. If I do, I will still listen to my doctor’s advice and fight no more than three times at 135: first to win the Invicta belt, the second time to kick your ass and the third time to kick your ass again so that the world can see it wasn’t luck."
Last week Ortiz said he was stepping down as her manager, saying that personal differences with White were limiting his client's options.
However, the mismanagement of Cris Justino continues. Why would the UFC be eager to sign a fighter for a title shot when the fighter says he or she has no plans to stay at that weight, and can't?
Further, lost in the almost entirely uninformed discussion about whether the UFC will sign Justino/is afraid of Justino/Rousey is afraid of Justino, etc is whether Cris Justino can even be licensed to fight at 135 at all.
The repeated references to the potentially fatal dangers of cutting to 135 were not missed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
"That's extremely relevant, it's an admission by the fighter," said NSAC Chair Francisco Aguilar to ESPN. "If she made that comment, she had reasons for making it.
"If the UFC wanted that fight in Las Vegas, the commission would review her application and decide whether or not to approve that bout at 135 pounds. This is one of those situations we'd really have to look at."