Ahead of her Bellator 279 headliner tomorrow night in Honolulu, Hawaii – featherweight champion, Cris Cyborg has distanced herself from a potential future return to the UFC, insisting that the lack of contenders at the limit leaves her skeptical about an Octagon comeback.
Cris Cyborg, who headlines the Scott Coker-led promotion’s return to Hawaii on Saturday night, meets one-time opponent, Arlene Blencow in an undisputed featherweight title rematch – attempting to land her second career win over the Australian following a second round rear-naked choke win over her back in October 2020.
The Brazilian veteran managed to secure her third successful defense of the organization’s featherweight title back in November atop a Bellator 271 card in Florida, stopping Dublin striker, Sinead Kavanagh with early first round strikes.
Continuing to run roughshod over title contenders since her January 2020 crown ascension, as well as the fact her contract with the Bellator is reportedly drawing to it’s conclusion, Cris Cyborg has been linked with a host of promotions, including PFL (Professional Fighter League), as well a return to the UFC.
Cris Cyborg has stuck gold with UFC, Invicta FC, Bellator MMA, and Strikeforce
Yet to divulge into her fighting future beyond this year, Cyborg has been linked with a PFL move to tackle the undefeated, two-time lightweight tournament winner, Kayla Harrison, and has welcomed a rematch against former two-weight UFC champion, Amanda Nunes in the future.
However, it appears any sort of rematch with Nunes will have to come away from the scrutiny of the UFC, with Cyborg distancing herself from a rebound to her prior stomping ground, citing a lack of opponents awaiting her in the Octagon.
The reality [is the UFC] don’t have too many girls for me to fight,” Cris Cyborg told ESPN MMA reporter, Marc Raimondi. “Girls will just go up a little bit [to 140lbs]. But in reality, [the UFC doesn’t] have a division at 145lbs.”
Cyborg’s insistence that the UFC has a lack of featherweight talent comes with certain accuracy; champion, Amanda Nunes has knocked back both one-time title challengers, Megan Anderson, and Felicia Spencer – with the latter since retiring, and the former not expected to pursue a return to active competition since UFC contract came to an end back in March of last year.
The featherweight title has yet to be defended by Nunes since her March 2021 quickfire triangle armbar win over Anderson, with the promotion yet to ever post official featherweight rankings on their official website since the introduction of the division back in February 2017.