Former UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg is in talks with the world’s leading MMA promotion about a new contract, according to her agent Audie Attar, who spoke to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani on his MMA show. Cyborg has one fight left on her contract following her shocking KO loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 232, but her and her representatives have been clear with the UFC that they are interested in a reunion.
According to Attar, Cyborg hopes to fight at UFC 237, which takes place this May in Curitiba, Brazil. The main event of that event will be headlined by UFC women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas taking on No. 1 contender Jessica Andrade, and it makes a lot of sense to pump up the undercard with a fighter of Cyborg’s popularity and name value, especially in Brazil. If Cyborg does fight at UFC 237, that will be the final fight on her contract, as he has just one fight left on it without any champion’s clause due to losing the belt.
The UFC would be smart to bring back Cyborg on a new deal. She has proven to be a bit of a pay-per-view draw at a time when the UFC needs fighters who sell shows, and although she won’t be cheap to re-sign, she’s proven to be worth the money. As far as women’s fighters go, there aren’t many more exciting fighters than Cyborg and there sure aren’t many with much more name value than she has. The UFC absolutely should re-sign her as long as the ask is appropriate.
Although it would be nice to see Cyborg get a rematch with Nunes seeing as though she was on a 13-year win streak before losing her belt in upset fashion, it’s very unlikely Nunes would take that fight. The rumor is that Nunes wants to fight Holly Holm next for the UFC women’s bantamweight championship, which would leave Cyborg without a next logical opponent. There aren’t too many featherweights in the UFC right now, but the two that do stand out are Megan Anderson and Cat Zingano. Anderson just beat Zingano in controversial fashion after a toenail sliced her eye and the fight was stopped in the first round at UFC 232, but Anderson did get her hand raised. If the UFC wanted to do Cyborg against Anderson in Brazil, that’s a fight that makes a lot of sense.
Cyborg will fight out that last fight of her contract, but in the case she does enter free agency, she will have a lot of suitors. Obviously, Bellator would take a run at her as her ex-Strikeforce promoter Scott Coker is in charge of the company. But I would suspect RIZIN and ONE would also take a run at her, not to mention the WWE, Golden Boy MMA and even some boxing promotions. Basically, Cyborg will have plenty of options to choose from. But if her agent is being sincere, she wants to return to the UFC, and it would be ideal for MMA fans if that’s what happens.