“She wants to fight you now,” UFC president Dana White said of bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes, who’s apparently reversed course on an immediate do-over with Cyborg.
After knocking out Cyborg (21-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) last December to become the UFC’s third champ-champ, Nunes (17-4 MMA, 10-1 UFC) pivoted back to her longtime bantamweight division and signed on to defend her title against ex-champ Holly Holm. The two meet next month in the co-main event of UFC 239.
If successful against Holm, White said during the post-UFC 238 news conference, Nunes will give Cyborg the rematch she requested following her first loss in 21 fights and 13 years.
“She wants that Cyborg fight bad,” White said. “So if Cyborg’s interested, we can do it. If Cyborg’s not interested, it’s OK. I’m not saying anything bad about Cyborg.”
That’s been the opposite takeaway for Cyborg on many occasions, hence White’s clarification. The ex-champ’s relationship with the promotion has a history of being unpredictable and rocky, and it didn’t improve after she claimed she was denied a post-fight speech following her loss.
Cyborg later said she would fight out her contract, but later signed on to fight Felicia Spencer at UFC 240.
White indicated there’s been nothing intentional about the way things played out with Nunes’ schedule. If Cyborg is willing to believe that, maybe a deal can be made.
“That’s just the way it played out,” White said. “But she is ready, willing and able. If she beats Holly, she wants to fight Cyborg.”