Cris “Cyborg” Justino could be running out of time in the UFC very soon.
Justino has two fights left on her current UFC contract. However, a clause in that contract also states the deal expires by October 2017. This is regardless of any remaining fights she may have.
The UFC hopes to book Justino vs. Germaine de Randamie for the women’s featherweight title at UFC 214 on July. That deal, however, is not yet finalized.
Justino’s contract included a seven-fight deal with Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC. This was over three years ago, hoping to eventually fight Ronda Rousey for the women’s bantamweight title in the future.
Nutrionist George Lockhart was brought in to help Cyborg with her weight cuts and allowed her to fight for Inivicta FC while getting paid by Zuffa. She fought three times for Invicta under the Zuffa contract. Then, she moved over to the UFC in 2016 for two fights at 140 pounds. However, after two difficult weight cuts and a difference of opinion with Lockhart’s weight-management philosophies, “Cyborg” halted plans to move down to 135. Rousey’s somewhat sudden retirement from MMA also had an impact on her decision.
Futhermore, just when the UFC decided to introduce a women’s featherweight title, primarily for Justino late last year, the Brazilian was provisionally suspended by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. After a two-month investigation though, she was granted a retroactive therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for Spironolactone, a physician-prescribed diuretic.
Now Justino is ready to fight again. According to sources close to her, she hopes to do so where she currently lives, Orange County, California. This is the site of UFC 214.
At this point, it’s unclear what the status of de Randamie’s injured hand is, which she revealed after becoming the inaugural featherweight champion in February after defeating Holly Holm.