Cris “Cyborg” Justino’s next UFC fight is the last one on her current contract, and the former UFC women’s featherweight champion will test the free-agent market afterward, she said Monday on ESPN’s Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.
Justino will fight Felicia Spencer in the co-main event of UFC 240 on July 27 in Edmonton, Alberta. Justino said she will then have an exclusive negotiating window with UFC before ultimately becoming a free agent.
“I want to see other promoters, see how much value I have,” Justino told Helwani. “I think it’s cool to see that before you can hear anything [about] that you don’t have value. Let’s see. Let’s see what another promoter has to say.”
Justino (20-2, 1 NC) was undefeated for 13 years before being knocked out by Amanda Nunes at UFC 232 in December. Nunes won the UFC women’s featherweight title in that bout. Prior to that, Justino, 33, was regarded as the best pound-for-pound women’s MMA fighter in the world and the greatest of all time. She won her first five UFC fights, four by finish, and has been a champion in Strikeforce and Invicta FC.
Over the years, Justino has had a combative relationship with UFC. Most recently, UFC president Dana White said last weekend that he wasn’t sure if Justino wanted the rematch with Nunes for the 145-pound title. Justino said she has been asking for that since the day she lost, including text messaging White. Justino said she believes White is “trying to damage my brand.”
“Funny, I was at home and watching the press conference and I cannot believe Dana White said that,” Justino said.
Justino, a native of Brazil who has lived in California for many years, would not say that she was definitely done with UFC after the Spencer fight. But she did say she wants to see what kind of interest she has on the open market. Justino told Helwani that people in UFC have told her she doesn’t have real value. She’s hoping to prove them wrong.
“Why not?” Justino said. “The opportunity is coming, and I have the opportunity to see my value with other promoters.”
Justino was recently ringside at the first All Elite Wrestling show in Las Vegas last month. She said she would not rule out a future in professional wrestling, adding that she didn’t get to fight Ronda Rousey in MMA, so maybe the matchup will happen one day in wrestling.
“It’s hard to be a pro wrestler,” Justino said. “They work very hard. They’re very athletic. Maybe. I did training before a little bit.”