Cris Cyborg explains why Bellator deal is better than UFC’s
Last week it became official: Cris “Cyborg” Justinho, former UFC featherweight champion, signed with Bellator. This after a back-and-fourth between Cyborg and the UFC, in a business relationship that clearly wasn’t working out. Cyborg cited years of mistreatment from the promotion. UFC president Dana White claimed that the former UFC champion was inherently difficult to deal with.
Now that both parties have gone separate ways, Cyborg has now opened up about why she chose to sign with Bellator.
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“There are many differences between the two promotional contracts” Cyborg told Damon Martin of MMA Fighting. “Being able to compete in boxing and pro wrestling allows me the ability to build my brand in other demographics if the opportunities are available. Another benefit with the Bellator contract is that I won’t be forced into wearing a uniform for $5,000.
“I will have the opportunity to seek fair market value for any brands or logos wanting to use the Cyborg brand to promote their products or services.”
Not only that, but Cyborg has had a long professional relationship with Bellator CEO Scott Coker. Cyborg reigned as Strikeforce featherweight champion between 2009-2011 with Coker as the promotion’s president. Coker’s way of dealing with fighters has played a key role in her decision-making as well.
“The thing about Scott Coker is he understands how to spot talent and develop fighters,” she said. “I remember when I fought at Strikeforce people use to say the UFC had better fighters, but that was proven not to be true. The reality is stars like Ronda, DC (Daniel Cormier), Tyron Woodley, and even Amanda Nunes all were discovered by Scott Coker and Strikeforce long before the UFC matchmakers ever knew who they were.”
It’s still not sure who Cyborg will face in her Bellator debut, but fans around the world are longing for it. Now it’s abundantly clear that she is as well.