It is no secret that the past few years of Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino’s career have been littered with public, often polemic exchanges with UFC president Dana White. Now, on the eve of what might be the biggest female fight the promotion has ever staged, “Cyborg” said she’s satisfied with the treatment she’s receiving by the UFC and that there’s no bad blood left between herself and her boss.
“The result of this [good relationship] is persistence, not giving up even in the face of adversity”, Justino, who is set to defend her featherweight title against former bantamweight champion Holly Holm at UFC 219, said. “Everything changed, I’m very happy that they put me in the main event. It shows to my fans that even when it’s difficult, we have to be persistent.”
The crucial moment in the relationship between Justino and White came when the UFC president admitted to having treated the Brazilian unfairly in a recent interview.
“[The treatment] It’s getting better, it’s getting better”, Justino laughed. “From the moment that he admitted to having made mistakes, from that moment on I dropped the negative emotions that I had. Now, let’s work together.”
A substantial chunk of work awaits “Cyborg” in the Octagon this weekend when the UFC’s featherweight champion defends her belt for the first time after winning it this past July by knocking out Invicta FC bantamweight champion Tonya Evinger. Given that she’s about to face another former bantamweight in Holm, though, “Cyborg” hopes that her next assignment will come against a natural 145-pounder.
“As it is a new division, there will be more fighters at 145 pounds over time”, Justino said. “Because there are girls at that weight. Next up should be [Invicta FC featherweight champion] Megan Anderson. It’s fair to fight the girls who are listed high in the rankings. I hope the next contender will be someone who is listed in the rankings, but I’m only focusing on this fight with Holly Holm now.”