Cris "Cyborg" Justino is at the end of her UFC contract, and she has demands the promotion must meet to get her to re-sign -- including a public apology from UFC president Dana White.
Justino said Monday on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show that she would like White to apologize for what she has deemed as his "bullying" and damage caused to her brand over the years. Justino, one of the best women's MMA fighters of all time, said she'd be willing to sign a one-fight contract for a rematch with Amanda Nunes.
"Of course, he has to apologize," Justino said. "I think he has family, he has kids. ... I don't know if he has a heart, but I think one thing he's doing is not just touching me, because he doesn't like me. He's touching the people around me, he's touching my family. It's not right."
Justino beat Felicia Spencer by unanimous decision in the co-main event of UFC 240 last Saturday night in Edmonton, Alberta. It was the last bout on her UFC contract. She now has a 90-day exclusive negotiating window with the UFC before she can speak to other promotions. Justino said she is likely to weigh all her options before deciding on her fighting future.
The issues between White and Justino go back to 2014 when White joked during a media scrum that Justino looked like male fighter Wanderlei Silva "in a dress" at an awards show. In 2015, White, comedian Tony Hinchcliffe and Joe Rogan, the UFC's color commentator, recorded a podcast and Rogan and Hinchcliffe took a shot at Justino. Rogan joked that Justino had male genitalia.
Rogan has since apologized to her privately, but not publicly, Justino said.
"You want to talk about me, if I have a d---, you talk in public," Justino said. "If you want to say sorry, you talk in public. ... For me, you're not a man. If Joe Rogan was a man, he'd go say sorry in public like what he said. Don't come behind in the room and talk to me in my ear. This is no type of man I know."
Justino feels that White has continued to bully her this year by saying she does not want the rematch with Nunes. Nunes knocked out Justino in the first round to win the UFC women's featherweight title at UFC 232 last December. Justino said she confronted White about that backstage after UFC 240 last Saturday night.
"I look in his eyes and I shake his hand and I say, 'Why are you lying? I texted your phone after the fight. I want my rematch.' And then I said, 'Why are you doing this?' Why? He didn't have words. There were a lot of cameras there, too."
Justino, 34, said words from White and Rogan have hurt her brand over the years and caused people to write awful things about her on social media.
"I'm suffering bullying," Justino said. "Where is the code that you don't do this? He is the boss. How does the boss make fun of your athlete? It's a girl, say she has a penis, she's a guy. You have to have rules. This is not right. I have a daughter, I have a mom, I have a dad. My daughter had a problem in school already because of this."
In an Instagram post Monday, Justino wrote: "Every woman deserves the right to go to work in an environment free of sexual harassment, online bullying, and work place intimidation."
Justino, who was undefeated and dominant for 13 years before the Nunes loss, said she would still consider going back to the UFC to fight Nunes. But she wants to sit down with her representation, White and UFC executives to hammer it out.
"Be honest," Justino said of White. "Stop lying, look to my eyes. Don't hide behind the camera, don't hide behind the thing. Joe Rogan, too. If you don't like me, come talk to me."
Justino (21-2, 1 NC) is the former Strikeforce and Invicta FC featherweight champion. The UFC signed her to a development deal while she was in Invicta, because it did not have her weight class. Justino came in to fight at 140 pounds with the hope she could make 135 pounds to fight then-champion Ronda Rousey, but she was too big for the weight. Justino said cutting to 140 pounds "almost killed me."
Justino had a Nunes vs. Cyborg 2 shirt made and she wore it after UFC 240. She said the UFC made her take it off. White said at the UFC 240 post-fight press conference last Saturday that he was confident the UFC could make Nunes vs. Cyborg 2 "if that's the fight she wants."
"I hope so," White said. "If that's true, if that's the fight she wants and she really wants to make that fight, I don't see how we don't make that deal."