Cyborg Santos Says No Rousey, No UFC

Cristiane Cyborg Santos is done dancing. If the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Dana White aren’t willing to meet her halfway on her demands for a catchweight fight with champion Ronda Rousey, she would rather fight somewhere else.

UFC Hall of Fame fighter and manager of Santos, Tito Ortiz broke the news on a recent edition of Inside MMA on Axis TV. Ortiz told Bas and Kenny that Santos is done playing games and if the UFC won’t meet her halfway at a 140 pound catchweight fight with Ronda Rousey, she wants to be released from her contract with Zuffa.

“Right now, we’re actually waiting for the UFC to release her,” Ortiz said. “We asked for them to release her, and Dana actually talked to me (Thursday). They gave an offer, and I went to Cyborg and she didn’t want to do it, so we asked for her release. Since they’re not having a 145-pound weight class, what else can they do?

Dana White confirmed that the UFC did have Santos under contract and owed her fights from her Strikeforce deal. Santos has been suspended since December 2011 for failing a PED test. Santos, Rousey, and White have been publicly negotiating the WMMA Superfight for the last few months. White and Rousey have been adamant that Santos must come down to 135 for the fight where Santos asked to meet in the middle at 140. Neither side appeared to budge so at this point Ortiz and Santos are ready to fight elsewhere.

I have written a lot on this story and to this day I really don’t understand the UFC and White’s position. I get it. Santos cheated and got busted for a PED. But, his stance on Santos has been different than any other fighter that has ever failed a drug test. Nick Diaz will be challenging for the title coming off of a loss and a failed drug test in several weeks. White’s support of Rousey not wanting to come up a mere five pounds for a fight that will do more for WMMA than any fight (other than a Rousey vs. Carano fight which won’t happen) is just simply mind boggling.

The interesting piece to this story is that Ortiz revealed that the UFC planned to farm Cyborg out to Invicta Fighting Championships and not even book her in the UFC since they only have a 135-pound division. I found that fascinating. Is there something going on behind the scenes with Invicta and the UFC? It would make perfect sense the UFC have only one WMMA fight booked right now and only a handful of other fighters under contract.

What this also shows me is that the UFC have no idea what they are going to be doing with their women’s division. Dana had some kind of a weird obsession with Rousey and had to get her in the UFC with no kind of sound plan. What happens if Rousey loses at UFC 157? What happens if the show is a flop? Who is next if she wins or loses? I think the best idea here would have been some kind of a 4 girl tournament to create some other stars and other matchups while buying time for Santos and Rousey to come together. That didn’t happen and right now the UFC has a one star and the only drawing opponent ready to walk.

The public seems to have taken Rousey and the UFC’s side in all of this. I am a bit surprised, especially since everyone including White blasted Jon Jones for running from a fight with Sonnen back at UFC 151. To me this is another case of the UFC failing to sign an obvious money making superfight which has become a real big problem if you ask me with Zuffa.

How a UFC champion can get away with running her mouth and yet balking at a fight over five pounds is something I’ll never understand. At this rate my money is on Invicta has a better shot of getting the fight done if Rousey and WMMA can’t cut it in the UFC.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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