Former WEC Light Heavyweight Champion and UFC color commentator Brian Stann has been in the MMA game for many years now. Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino has been one of the greatest female fighters in the sport, but she feels that if the UFC got behind her “brand” more, then she would be an even bigger star.
My next fight will be my 6th fight on UFC contract Imagine how much bigger the cyborg brand would be if they had all been in the UFC— #UFC214 #LetsGoChamp (@criscyborg) April 25, 2017
While Stann does agree with her sentiment, the UFC veteran also believes that Cyborg and her team make it harder for people to work with her.
“I agree with ‘Cyborg’ in terms of her Invicta (FC) fights,” Stann said on Toe 2 Toe. “If we (could’ve found) a way to have put her on the undercard or other portions instead of Invicta, maybe that would have been great to build her brand, no doubt. But there are things that she and her manager, who her manager is primarily the one who controls her Twitter account, have to realize here: They are not easy to work with, and I can attest to this.”
Stann then goes onto provide a personal experience he had with Cyborg, which includes her no showing a pre-fight interview prior to UFC 198.
“When I called her first fight in the UFC, I speak to every single athlete,” Stann said. “I like to before they fight, before I call their fight. I feel like that’s what I owe them. I shouldn’t be in there speculating. I should be sure of where they trained, what they focused on, who their coaches are, what they would like me to talk about concerning their brand. I ask them all these questions. I talk to them about what they want to get done, what are the weaknesses and strengths they see in their opponent, all these things, and then it’s a secret. I don’t tell anybody. I don’t even tell (fellow UFC commentator) Jon Anik. Nobody knows what I’m going to say until they start making that walk.
“When I set up a time to speak to her, her manager gave me a time that was my appointment to speak to her. I call. (He) doesn’t answer. I go back to him to get a meeting and set up a time, and he gives me another time. I call. No answer. I call. No answer. So then I call George Lockhart, who I knew was sitting with her or was with her handling her weight cut. George answers the phone, and I say, ‘Hey George, is Cris busy right now, I had a time set to speak to her before this fight at UFC 198.’ (He said), ‘Bro, she’s sitting right next to me.’ I said, ‘OK, is her phone in her hand?’ He says yes. I go, ‘OK. Does she just no longer want to do this appointment?’ (He said), ‘I guess not, bro. I don’t know what to tell you.’ OK, no problem. But that doesn’t help me promote you. I actually told her manager, look, I understand what’s been said about this woman before – I am only looking to focus on the positive things and promote her as a fighter. I’ve never said anything negative about her, so she didn’t give me that opportunity to do so. OK. Fine.
“The other thing about her. She gets George Lockhart to live with her and be there for her entire camp – cook all of her food. She didn’t pay for that. UFC paid for that. That’s a pretty massive advantage. That’s special treatment. That’s pretty awesome – an entire weight class made for her. She did turn down fights; I know that that did happen. She was hard to work with with them and did turn down fights. More importantly, there was a time where she decided to lie about her weight and talk about her weight cut. For some reason, she started tweeting out her weight at a current time during her cut; the UFC was able to verify and they didn’t really go too public with this, but there were some issues there too where she was lying about her weight at the time. I’m not saying she’s 100 percent wrong in some of the things she’s putting out there, but she’s not doing herself any favors on the flip side by being so difficult to work with.”
Once word got to Cyborg about the claims made by Stann on Toe 2 Toe, the former Invicta FC Featherweight Champion spoke her part via Twitter. The first Twitter post from the former champion also brings up one of the UFC’s owners in Ari Emanuel.
Cyborg even managed to take shots at the UFC for not having her do studio work for UFC Tonight or other such programming, even though she absolutely has been on Fox before.
A fan base is something Cyborg has in her home country of Brazil, another thing she pointed out on Twitter.
Another factor that Cyborg thinks that hurts her brand is that she has never had the opportunity to compete on Fox during her fights in the UFC.
As her rant on Twitter came to a close, the former Invicta FC Champion also brought up past transgressions against her by UFC President Dana White and longtime UFC commentator Joe Rogan.
I no lose 10 years. Go to YouTube and type Dana White Cris Cyborg, then type Rogan Cyborg. Tell me if those videos are good marketing 4me https://t.co/Qk5lSW3BJK— #UFC214 #LetsGoChamp (@criscyborg) April 25, 2017
Here are the two videos that Cyborg was referencing in her previous Twitter post:
Although her next UFC bout has yet to be booked, the former Invicta FC Featherweight Champion has been campaigning to fight UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion Germaine De Randamie at UFC 214.