Last weekend, "Cyborg" made it known that she was not happy being under the Zuffa banner and would like to search for other avenues to advance her career. Frustrated with what she perceived as an unwillingness by Dana White and the UFC to make a fight happen with Ronda Rousey at a weight Santos could safely make, she figured there was no sense sticking around.
Dana White didn't take long to respond. Taking questions after the UFC on FUEL 7's pre-fight press conference, White confirmed that he had granted Cristiane Santos her release. Following the admission, in typical Dana White style, he let loose on the former Strikeforce world champion.
"When you send a letter from your lawyer and your doctor saying I will die if I try to make 135 (pounds), it's just the goofiest thing," said White. "I've never seen anything like it in the fight business.
"So you don't want to make 135, but you want to talk about fighting Ronda (Rousey). First of all, you tested positive for steroids and got stripped of your title. And you're trying to talk about how Ronda doesn't want to fight you, but she's the champion at 135. If Ronda goes and does the fight at 140, it's not even for a title. The fight just makes no sense.
Dana White then talked about their attempts to get Santos fights with Invicta FC while she tried to work out her weight issues. However, Santos and her team were not interested.
"It's wacky beyond wackiness," White remarked incredulously.
"There is no 145-pound women's division. She's under contract with us, so we'd get her some fights somewhere else. We'd get her some fights. Let's play this 135-pound thing out and see what happens, see where this thing goes. No.
"'Cyborg' is pretty much irrelevant right now," White flatly concluded. "She really is. She's irrelevant. Go out there and win some fights again, get your name back, stay clean, stay off some steroids and get your career back on track, and then we'll talk. But for her to think that everybody should move around and jump through hoops for her is insane."
Although women's MMA is exploding in popularity, making the UFC an enemy is a potentially risky move, particularly if Invicta FC decides to keep their gloves off in an effort not to upset Zuffa. There are few other options for female fighters, particularly one of the stature of Cristiane Santos.