Cyborg didn’t refuse Rousey fight for weight

Friday, May 10, 2013

It has been widely reported that Cris Cyborg and her management declined a superfight with Ronda Rousey due to Cyborg’s inability to make 135. However, Mike Chiapetta reveals that the real reason was money and the right contract.

In the fall of 2012, Mike Dolce flew out to Southern California to meet with Cris Cyborg.

From what he heard and saw, he was confident in telling her she could easily make the weight. By the time Dolce and Cyborg shook hands and parted, Dolce believed they were on the same page. Cyborg told him she would just have to speak to her management, Tito Ortiz and George Prajin of Primetime 360. But as time passed, a follow-up call never came.

Instead, the next time he heard his name in connection with Cyborg, it was in the media, with Tito Ortiz saying it was impossible for Cyborg to make 135 pounds. Dolce could only scratch his head.

“As a professional, I stand on my resume,” Dolce told MMA Fighting. “If she had done the things necessary in November, December and January, it would have been easy for her to make 135 in February.”

The biggest issue, according to Cyborg’s management firm, was Zuffa treating Cyborg as a bit player rather than an event co-star.

“Every pay-per-view megafight requires two participants, and they weren’t giving Cris her just credit,” said Prajin. “They were compensating Ronda like she was the only attraction of the fight.”

Prajin told MMA Fighting that Cyborg would have attempted the drop to 135 if the sides struck a deal, but a contract fell apart because the money was not right, and because the two sides could never get past the fact that Zuffa insisted on an eight-fight contract.

“We may make it seem like it’s more about money, but it’s more about respect,” Prajin said. “Cris is a humble person. She doesn’t drive a fancy car. She beat Gina Carano and proved she was the best at that time, and she got nothing out of it. She got a gold belt around her waist. She told us, ‘Hey, I don’t care about the UFC.’ She knows in her heart people know she’s the best. She’ll go to Invicta, Japan. She doesn’t have anything to prove to anyone. Ronda may hear she’s the best in the world, but she has to go to bed at night knowing that’s not true until she fights Cris.”

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