In recent weeks, White has said candidly on numerous occasions that Cyborg wanted nothing to do with a potential rematch against reigning two-division UFC champion Amanda Nunes after their first fight ended in a staggering 51-second knockout. Since that time, Nunes has spoken about facing Cyborg again but White continues to claim that the former champion had no interest in the rematch.
That has led to plenty of back and forth between White and Cyborg with the latest exchange taking place this week in a series of interviews. While Cyborg claimed that White had no frame of reference to say she was afraid of losing to Nunes a second time and that he doesn’t understand the fighter life because he’s not a fighter.
In response, White said during a media session with reporters that his statements about Cyborg were never intended to be personal but rather he was just stating the fact that she wanted nothing to do with a Nunes’ rematch.
“Listen, I am not saying anything negative about Cyborg. She does not want to fight Amanda Nunes, that is a fact,” White stated. “Why she would be mad at me because she doesn’t want to fight Amanda Nunes is beyond me. But I have no problem with Cris. I’ve said many times, earlier when she first came in there’s obviously some things we had to squash and fix and I thought we had done that. I’ve had a decent working relationship with her, believe me I’ve had much worse.
“I have no ill will toward her and when I say that she doesn’t want to fight Amanda and I say that I don’t blame her, I’m not talking about her or being negative toward her, these are facts.”
Cyborg has countered in the past by saying that the UFC wouldn’t give her the Nunes fight without securing her for a new multi-fight contract.
The veteran Brazilian is coming up to the end of her current deal with her fight at UFC 240 and White admits that his team has been trying to ink Cyborg to a new contract in recent months.
“Amanda Nunes wants to fight Cyborg. We want to make the Amanda Nunes-Cyborg fight. Cyborg does not. That’s a fact. I don’t know, then say that. Say I don’t want to fight Amanda Nunes because I don’t want to sign a new contract,” White said.
“I believe my guys have been trying to get a new deal done with her. Obviously, if we’re trying to make the Amanda Nunes fight, we’re trying to get a new deal done, too. It’s not like we’re trying to chase her out.”
White added that if Cyborg was so concerned about a long term deal, she could ink a one-fight contract for the Nunes’ rematch so the UFC could make it official.
Of course the cavaet to that one-fight deal would be a champion’s clause that would lock Cyborg into a longer deal if she successful avenged her prior loss to Nunes in the second meeting.
“We’re trying to get something done, we’re trying to get another fight or if she wanted to, she could do a one fight deal and fight Amanda. She doesn’t want to fight Amanda Nunes. That’s period, end of story,” White said.
“She wouldn’t be a free agent [if she won]. She’d have the belt and there’s a clause that goes along with the belt. So it wouldn’t really be a [one-fight deal].”