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Dana White: Leslie Smith 'only one who wanted' the Cyborg fight, 'begged for it'

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Some fans are complaining about the Cyborg vs. Smith matchup, saying UFC matchmakers want a showcase performance for the Brazilian, but Dana White claims Smith was the only one who accepted the fight.

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

After the UFC announced that Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino will be making her long-awaited promotional debut later this year at UFC 198 against Leslie Smith, most of the reactions were positive, but some were critical of Cyborg's first Octagon opponent, believing UFC officials simply want a showcase fight for the Brazilian in her hometown.

UFC President Dana White claims that is not necessarily the case -- in a response to a fan on Twitter, White said that Smith was the only one who agreed to fight Cyborg.

Whatever the case may be, we are in for a slug-fest or an early knockout when Cyborg vs. Smith takes place in May. It should also be noted the fight will take place at a catchweight of 140-pounds.

Cyborg (15-1, 1 NC) is the current Invicta FC featherweight champion and has defended it twice since returning after a lengthy layoff last year with knockouts over Charmaine TweetDaria Ibragimova and Faith Van Duin. All but two of her wins have come by way of TKO/KO.

After Smith's (8-6-1) ear nearly exploded during her UFC 180 matchup with Jessica Eye causing an injury TKO loss for her, she was sidelined until earlier this month when she returned against Rin Nakai and picked up a unanimous decision nod.

UFC 198 takes place live from Arena Atletico Paranaense in Curitiba, Brazil on May 14. In the main event, UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum defends his title against top contender Stipe Miocic.