If Cris Cyborg is to return to the Octagon, she’ll need more than just a big check from UFC president Dana White.
The ex-UFC featherweight champion said Monday on “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show” that if their relationship is to continue, White must apologize for his past comments about her, which include referring to the Brazilian legend as “Wanderlei Silva in a dress and heels” in 2014.
“Of course he has to apologize,” Cyborg said. “I think he has family, he has kids. … I don’t know if he has a heart, but I think what he’s doing is not just touching me because he doesn’t like me. He’s touching the people around me, he’s touching my family and it’s not right.”
In a tweet following her appearance on the show, Cyborg wrote no woman should be subject to harassment at work. She tagged White and UFC color commentator and comedian Joe Rogan in the tweet; the two men joked with comedian Tony Hinchcliffe during a 2015 podcast that Cyborg had male genitalia.
“I’m suffering bullying,” she added during her interview. “Where is the code that you don’t do this? He is the boss. How does the boss make fun of (his) athlete? … You have to have rules. This is not right.”
Cyborg is now without a contract after beating Felicia Spencer at Saturday’s UFC 240 event. She said she has a 90-day exclusive negotiating window with the UFC but intends to explore free agency.
Despite her issues with the UFC, the former Invicta and Strikeforce titleholder said she’s willing to sign a one-fight contract for a rematch with women’s featherweight and bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes.
After Cyborg lost via a stunning first-round knockout to Nunes in December – the first KO loss of her storied career – White has repeatedly said publically she doesn’t want to face the double champ again.
Cyborg has insisted that isn’t true, and told Helwani she confronted White backstage at UFC 240.
“I look in his eyes and I shake his hand and I say, ‘Why are you lying? I texted your phone after the fight. I want my rematch.’ And then I said, ‘Why are you doing this? Why?’ He didn’t have words,” said Cyborg. “There were a lot of cameras there, too.”
Cyborg also called for White to “be honest” in their negotiations for a new contract.
– With h/t to ESPN.com
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