Cris Cyborg isn't exactly the elephant in the room, but she's the unwanted other half of one of the biggest potential fights in WMMA, a matchup against Ronda Rousey. Recently it looks like Cyborg has been redirecting her career back towards the UFC. She parted ways with Tito Ortiz as it became clear that Ortiz's external affairs (and an especially bitter relationship with Zuffa brass) might make him more of a hindrance than a help. She's also talking about taking a run at the Invicta 135 lb title in preparation for a shot in the UFC. That doesn't mean that she thinks her chances of getting a fight with Rousey have necessarily improved. She spoke to MMA Fighting about her expectations now that she's no longer working with Ortiz.
"I'm already used to being a target, so I'm building a castle with the stones people throw at me," Cyborg told MMAFighting.com. "Dana just threw one of the many are yet to come.
"That's a tough question," said Cyborg when asked if White will sign her now that Ortiz is not her manager. "I'm sure (White) will find another problem."
She's certainly got a lot of reason to believe that's the case as White has used her recently as a talking point about what he believed were "dirty" fighters in the sport. Cyborg, to her credit, responded to those criticisms as well.
"I don't think (the criticism) is unfair, I think it's a joke," she said. "How many (fighters) were caught in the UFC? It's easier to point a finger to an athlete that fights for other promotion. Have you ever seen someone shoot at their own foot?"
And that may be right on the money. Cyborg is an easy target when the UFC wants to talk about someone that they aren't hiring because of steroid use. It may be that a desire to get Ronda Rousey the biggest fights possible in a field that promises very few of them will drive Zuffa to cut a deal with Cyborg eventually, but I have the feeling that the longer they can delay that day, the happier they will be. Of course, if Ronda really is set on ending her MMA career in the next couple of years, keeping her as a draw may not end up being a particularly high priority. Either way it sounds like this isn't a story that's going away any time soon. And the more challengers both women dominate, the more prominent that narrative is going to become.