Holly Holm Reacts To Cris Cyborg’s Drug Testing Demands

UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg has been campaigning hard for a shot at ex-UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm – and she just may get it. Lately on social media Cyborg has been going off on how frequently she has been tested by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) as opposed to everyone else […]

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UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg has been campaigning hard for a shot at ex-UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm – and she just may get it.

Lately on social media Cyborg has been going off on how frequently she has been tested by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) as opposed to everyone else – especially her likely next opponent Holly Holm. Cyborg has no issue being drug tested; however, she’d like for it to be an even playing field and see her fellow combatants tested just as much as she is:

Earlier today (Tues. October 17, 2017) Holm took to Instagram to respond to Cyborg’s online rant, revealing she has actually been tested more times than the Brazilian (quotes via MMA Fighting):

I've actually just wasted a minute of my life on this video.

A post shared by Holly Holm (@hollyholm) on

“So apparently there was a little bit of drama today because USADA went to Cyborg’s house and I know I’ve been the topic of interest a lot on her social media and I don’t mind fighters trying to promote fights, that’s fine, but let’s be real for a minute.

“She said she’s been tested by USADA and wants to be tested just as much, and she probably should have looked on their public records on the USADA web page and seen I’ve been tested nine times compared to her eight. I’m in no race, I really don’t care, I just know I compete clean and they test me all the time. So, I just never needed an applause for passing my tests. In the meantime, I’ll just spend my time training and she can spend her time complaining and making false accusations and false memes.”

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Dana White Confident That Cyborg vs. Holm Deal Will be Finalized

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White believes Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm will compete inside the Octagon soon. Since winning the UFC women’s featherweight title back in July, many have wondered who Cyborg’s first defense will be against. Holm has emerged as the clear answer. While the UFC has been trying to put the […]

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White believes Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm will compete inside the Octagon soon. Since winning the UFC women’s featherweight title back in July, many have wondered who Cyborg’s first defense will be against. Holm has emerged as the clear answer. While the UFC has been trying to put the […]

Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino-Holly Holm Fight Still in Works Despite Tweet About Money

A matchup between Cris “Cyborg” Justino and Holly Holm is still being negotiated after Justino said Tuesday she had cancelled a meeting with the UFC for financial reasons.         
“Emotions can run high during n…

A matchup between Cris “Cyborg” Justino and Holly Holm is still being negotiated after Justino said Tuesday she had cancelled a meeting with the UFC for financial reasons.         

“Emotions can run high during negotiations, but to clarify things, the UFC has not made an offer for a fight at UFC 219,” Justino’s manager, George Prajin, told Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com on Wednesday. “We are still in talks. Cris wants to fight Holly Holm on Dec. 30. That is what we are working towards, and we are optimistic it will happen.”

That comes a day after Justino tweeted the following:

According to Okamoto, a meeting between Justino’s and Holm’s camps is “tentatively” scheduled for next week.

Justino, 32, is a perfect 3-0 in the UFC and 18-1-1 overall in her professional fighting career. In her last bout at UFC 214 in July, she defeated Tonya Evinger by technical knockout and claimed the vacant featherweight title. She is one of the most feared fighters of all time, and perhaps only Ronda Rousey in her prime was more dominant. 

Holm, 35, is most famous for upsetting Rousey at UFC 193 in November 2015 in one of the most shocking results in the organization’s history. That win ended Rousey’s perfect 12-0 record and halted her dominance over the women’s bantamweight division. Holm promptly lost her next three fights, though she defeated Bethe Correia via TKO in June at UFC Fight Night, improving her MMA record to 11-3.

Read more MMA news on BleacherReport.com

Cris Cyborg Blasts UFC For Offering Pay Downgrade

The UFC just can’t seem to find a happy medium with women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg. And there could be a distinct reason for that. After finally winning a UFC title against Invicta bantamweight champion Tonya Evinger at July’s UFC 214, Cyborg repeatedly called out for a title fight against former UFC women’s bantamweight champion […]

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The UFC just can’t seem to find a happy medium with women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg.

And there could be a distinct reason for that.

After finally winning a UFC title against Invicta bantamweight champion Tonya Evinger at July’s UFC 214, Cyborg repeatedly called out for a title fight against former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm, who fought Germaine de Randamie in the inaugural UFC women’s featherweight title fight, at December 30’s UFC 219.

However, according to Cyborg, that booking is seeming more and more unlikely due to the payday the UFC is offering her. She tweeted last night that a scheduled meeting with the UFC had been called off because they were offering her a downgrade in pay to fight Holm:

The issue is merely the latest in a long string of back-and-forth troubles between the UFC and Cyborg, which were seemingly remedied after she was hit with a potential USADA violation last year, of which she was exonerated yet still did not fight in the first UFC women’s 145-pound title bout in the main event of February’s UFC 208.

It seemed getting Cyborg to the octagon was becoming tougher by the day, but the two sides hashed things out enough to get her inside the Octagon at UFC 214, where she dominated a tough Evinger en route to a third-round TKO stoppage. The stage was certainly set for Cyborg to realize her potential as one of MMA’s biggest stars (and most controversial draws) against Holm, who is quite possibly the only woman ready and willing to fight, other than Cyborg, at featherweight right now.

But with fighter pay and treatment one of the most heated topics in MMA in the year following WME-IMG’s then-record $4.2 billion UFC purchase, a champion probably won’t take a pay cut to fight a bigger name than she did for her previous bout, especially considering she’s finally champion. We’ve only gotten Cyborg’s side of the story for now, and UFC 219, at least of this writing, isn’t shaping up to be quite as impactful a card as UFC 214, which featured the long-awaited return of Jon Jones, was.

That could all change, of course, but Cyborg’s accusation at her employer, if true, would seem like just another unnecessary hold-up in an era where the UFC is trying to nickel and dime their fighters to death – even their champions.

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Cris Cyborg vs. Holly Holm Is Biggest Women’s Fight UFC Can Muster in Down 2017

It’s borderline miraculous that Cris “Cyborg” Justino and Holly Holm appear to be closing in on a women’s featherweight title fight for UFC 219.
Not so long ago, these two women were both down and out, with Justino facing a lengthy doping suspension an…

It’s borderline miraculous that Cris “Cyborg” Justino and Holly Holm appear to be closing in on a women’s featherweight title fight for UFC 219.

Not so long ago, these two women were both down and out, with Justino facing a lengthy doping suspension and Holm reeling from three straight losses. The 145-pound division itself had been so problematic it seemed possible the UFC might scrap the whole thing while it was still in its infancy.

Yet somehow, here we are, with Justino vs. Holm suddenly looming as the biggest women’s MMA bout on the horizon.

If the money is right, both parties have already said they’re game, and Justino is very publicly campaigning for a spot on the company’s end-of-the-year pay-per-view Dec. 30 in Las Vegas.

Not only does this booking represent a complete reversal of fortunes for both Cyborg and Holm, but it’s also a commentary on the state of WMMA—which is slumping toward the end of 2017 right along with the rest of the UFC.

Back when Ronda Rousey reigned as women’s bantamweight champ from 2013-15, there was no more vibrant storyline than the arrival of women in the Octagon. Rousey was the promotion’s biggest star and her popularity put the UFC’s female fighters on equal footing with the men, a rarity in professional sports.

Following her absence after back-to-back losses, however, women’s MMA finds itself without a focal point and therefore on uncharacteristically shaky promotional ground.

New 135-pound champ Amanda Nunes has given her division a modicum of stability, but the bantamweight hasn’t yet connected with a large portion of UFC fans. Add in her last-minute withdrawal from UFC 213 and a questionable split decision win over Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 215 this month, and Nunes has ways to go before establishing herself as a reliable drawing card.

At strawweight, Joanna Jedrzejczyk continues to be unstoppable and a favorite of the hardcore MMA set. Her impending bout against Rose Namajunas will be a crackerjack, but it will take third-tier billing on a jam-packed UFC 217 card on Nov. 4.

Meanwhile, the women’s flyweight division is still a work in progress. The ongoing Season 26 of The Ultimate Fighter aims to crown the UFC’s first women’s 125-pound champion, but it remains unclear how viable that division will ultimately be—or whether Jedrzejczyk will merely add its title to her already impressive collection.

That unexpectedly leaves Justino and Holm—perhaps two of the only proven draws left in WMMA—to carry much of the load.

But turn back the clock a year or so and that was certainly not the way things were trending.

Holm’s loss of the women’s bantamweight title to Miesha Tate at UFC 196 touched off a lengthy and difficult stretch for her. She dropped her next fight to Shevchenko in July 2016, then a third straight to Germaine de Randamie at UFC 208 in June.

The losing streak effectively squandered the momentum Holm had established upon arriving in the UFC, when she notched a pair of wins and shocked the world by knocking out Rousey at UFC 193.

At the same time, her relationship with her UFC bosses appeared strained. In March 2016, White blasted Holm’s longtime manager, Lenny Fresquez, as “an old boxing guy who thinks he’s smart and he isn’t” (via MMA Fighting’s David St. Martin) for putting her into the fight with Tate in the first place.

 

Already 35 years old, it’s clear Holm needs to act fast to preserve her status as a top-level UFC star.

Justino’s on-again, off-again feuds with company brass have also been well-documented.

Long regarded as one of the best fighters in MMA, Justino was already the former Strikeforce and current Invicta FC featherweight champ when she landed an overdue UFC contract in March 2015.

Prior to that, she had publicly beefed both with White and Rousey. A bout between Rousey and Justino was a frequent topic of internet speculation but never seemed close to fruition.

Even after officially joining the UFC, things didn’t go all that smoothly for Cyborg.

For starters, since the UFC didn’t yet have a featherweight division—which would have been Justino’s natural landing spot—her first two bouts were contested at 140-pound catchweights. Then, when the organization finally did institute the 145-pound class, it couldn’t come to terms with her in time for its inaugural title fight.

Instead, the UFC put the championship on De Randamie after she edged Holm via decision.

To make matters even more circuitous, Cyborg failed a drug test in December 2016. The transgression threatened to sidetrack her for up to two years, until the UFC and U.S. Anti-Doping Agency retroactively granted her a therapeutic use exemption for a banned diuretic and wiped away the suspension.

After that, it was all systems go. The UFC stripped De Randamie in June due to her unwillingness to defend the title against Cyborg. Justino then defeated Tonya Evinger for the vacant belt at UFC 214 and now stands poised to take her place as one of the UFC’s more marketable champions.

Just as quickly, Holm revitalized her own career with a head-kick knockout of Bethe Correia three months ago. The victory abruptly made her the consensus No. 1 contender in both the bantamweight and featherweight divisions—and it’s Justino that makes the most sense as an opponent.

Justino has duly established herself as the most fearsome woman on the planet, but it has been a long time since she has faces truly elite competition. Holm will certainly fit the bill in that regard, as a former UFC champ and a decorated striker in her own right.

Cyborg is known as an aggressive knockout artist and Holm is at her best against opponents who bring the fight straight to her. Stylistically, it couldn’t be much better.

More importantly, both fighters possess notable fan followings and their bout should move the needle more than anything Nunes or Jedrzejczyk could come up with at this point.

In a year when the UFC has struggled to book big fights, the best option available at the moment is to book this all-star matchup for the 145-pound title.

That means giving fans Cyborg vs. Holm before the end of 2017.

Read more MMA news on BleacherReport.com

USADA Clears Cyborg Following Thailand Police Confusion

Cris Cyborg is reportedly on par with all of the required steps of the UFC’s partnership with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). After a report recently surfaced from Bloody Elbow stating that Cyborg had potentially run afoul of USADA after someone had called police on USADA testing agents in Thailand, where Cyborg has been […]

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Cris Cyborg is reportedly on par with all of the required steps of the UFC’s partnership with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

After a report recently surfaced from Bloody Elbow stating that Cyborg had potentially run afoul of USADA after someone had called police on USADA testing agents in Thailand, where Cyborg has been training with Phuket Top Team, who had shown up to the gym to test the UFC women’s featherweight champ.

However, USADA issued a statement to MMA Fighting this week (Tues., September 26, 2017) that fully exonerated Cyborg from any confusion or wrongdoing after her sample was successfully collected and sent to a WADA-accredited lab in Tokyo:

“Ms. Justino fully complied with the sample collection process. From collection to delivery, the integrity of the sample was secured, and it is currently being analyzed by the WADA accredited lab in Tokyo. Athletes’ cooperation in providing a requested sample is critical to ensure all athletes’ right to safe and clean sport is protected.”

Photo: Gary A. Vasquez for USA TODAY Sports

Apparently, the police had been called on the testing agents by workers at her hotel and Phuket Top Team front-desk employees. Phuket Top Team owner Boyd Clarke addressed the situation by explaining just why the police were called on the agents in a lengthy forum post on The Underground:

“Fake news aside, here’s the first hand on the spot happenings of the situation. As owner of Phuket Top Team I feel I should fill in some of the missing info. My Thai staff was made aware of several people believed to be “stalking” Cris cyborg, as they would not identify themselves.

We were told by our staff that 2 people checked into a hotel room next to cris and were acting strange by asking questions about them. Cyborg was placed in an exclusive location to provide her privacy while training at my gym.

Initially my staff thought the couple were just overly excited fans. At 6am those people knocked on the door of the of Cris’s bungalow and the hotel staff notified my office of the disturbance.The hotel staff told my front desk that they heard the people requesting a urine sample. In Thailand the only people who do this are police. Unable to contact Cris by phone My staff rang the local police to ask why they would send people to her residence.

The police stated they had no knowledge of any officers at that hotel, and sent a patrol car to investingate. It was after the police arrived that they discovered the pair was from Singapore.Speaking directly to Cris they learned that the testers where checked into the hotel to do their job of collecting a urine sample for testing and not on vacation.

The police further investigated the situation to discover that neither employee had a valid work permit and when questioned both individuals from Singapore failed to mention they were part of any international testing agency, instead informing the officers on site they were only in Phuket for Vacation. Allowing them to initially leave, the police later detained them upon reviewing paperwork completed during the testing. and later discovering that they were wearing uniforms and in the presence of work ID’s. Cris cyborg complied with the entire process, giving her sample as she was unaware of the issues with them not having a valid work permit until the test was completed and the local authorities arrived to investigate the situation.

The issue for the police was two part.

First The Singaporean collectors made false statements denying they were here working and to collect urine samples. In Thailand the country is big on saving “face” and having two Singaporeans lie about their purpose on the island did not sit well with them.

Second since they were here working without a permit they did not provide the country with the proper taxes for conducting business in Thailand.

To further escalate the situation one of the testers attempted to offer money to the Thai police in exchange for them to be let go without incident.Cris was uninvolved in the police and immigration issues other than providing answers to the police when questioned.

The entire process was started by the hotel staff notifying my front desk of a disturbance at our VIP guests residence and was further escalated by the false statements made to the police by the testing agency.

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