If you want to see Cris Cyborg in the UFC, she's going to have to fight Holly Holm to get there. At least, that's what her manager believes.
Invicta FC featherweight champion Cristiane "Cyborg" Venancio has been looking to enter the UFC over the past few years. It was thought her ticket in would be a fight with Ronda Rousey. Such a fight would have been a battle between the champions of women's featherweight and bantamweight. That all came to a crashing halt with Rousey's loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193.
In order for Cyborg to fight in the UFC, she would need to drop down to bantamweight and win at least one fight before taking on Rousey. This comes straight from the UFC and seems to be a bit of a thorn in Cyborg's side. With things taking such a dramatic turn in the past few months, Cyborg's manager George Prajin thinks that there's only one shot to ever see Cyborg compete in the UFC, and that shot is Holly Holm.
"Our only hope is a Hail Mary — a long shot," Pravin told ESPN's Brett Okamoto. "It's the UFC seeing value in a Holly Holm vs Cyborg catchweight fight. They have a division to protect. If Holly fights Cris at UFC 200 and gets smashed, it lowers her value as a champion. I'm sure they don't want to do that."
"We still feel Cris is the only money fight out there for Holly besides a Rousey rematch. If Holly beats Miesha Tate [at UFC 196 on March 5] and then Ronda decides she doesn't want to fight or loses to Holly again, the only fight that would make sense for Holly would be Cris."
Cyborg, 30, defended her Invicta FC title in January, knocking out Daria Ibragimova in the first round with just one second left. There was chatter that Cyborg would take on Invicta bantamweight champion Tonya Evinger, but that looks dead in the water. Instead, both women will defend their respective titles next.