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‘Come to Bellator’ - Ex-UFC champ Cris Cyborg has a message for Jon Jones

The former queen of the UFC’s featherweight division has a message for any fighter that wants to “stay a star,” including longtime light heavyweight king Jon Jones.

Cris Cyborg walks to the Bellator cage for her title fight against Julia Budd.
Cris Cyborg walks to the Bellator cage for her title fight against Julia Budd.
Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Jon Jones is the just the latest in a long string of notable fighters to seemingly run into a wall while negotiating with the UFC. The former multiple-time light heavyweight champion sounds like he’s finally ready to make a long teased transition to the heavyweight division. The sticking point in the whole process seems to be Jones’ long held understanding that his jump up in weight for a cross-divisional superfight would carry a much larger payday.

The UFC’s interest in opening up their checkbook hasn’t been forthcoming, however. And at this point, Jones and the world’s largest MMA promotion appear to be at something of a standstill.

That situation appears to have given some ammunition to another former UFC star who struggled to stay on good terms with company brass during her tenure with the organization. None other than current Bellator featherweight champion and former UFC featherweight title holder, Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino.

Cyborg took to Twitter recently to remind Jones, and any other fighter finding themselves at odds with the UFC, that there are other options out there.

In a separate Tweet (h/t MMA Mania) Cyborg noted that she earned 10x her last Reebok payday in sponsor money for her first Bellator fight. And she even dipped into Jones’ timeline to do a little person-to-person proselytizing.

Cyborg is currently set to face Leslie Smith in a rematch of their 2016 battle at UFC 198. This fight will represent the second defense of the Brazilian’s Bellator belt, following her second round submission of Arlene Blencowe back in October of last year. Set for May 21st at the Mohegan Sun Arena, Bellator 259 is also expected to feature the debut of former Cage Warriors and Titan FC champion – as well as seven-fight UFC vet – Brett ‘The Pikey’ Johns. Johns will be taking on former TUF Brazil 4 contestant Matteus Mattos in his first fight under his new promotional home.