- Dana White is a bully, mixed martial artist Cris Cyborg says.
- Cyborg has fended off abuse ever since she joined UFC. She has been called an "it," a fighter with a "penis," and that she looks like a man.
- It has gotten so bad, Cyborg says kids at her daughter’s school are aware of this and are now bullying her daughter.
- "Everybody knows I don’t have the best or greatest relationship with UFC. I don’t have the best relationship with Dana White," she said at a recent press conference. All she wants is respect.
- It is not the first time White has been called a bully.
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Dana White has been called a bully by the popular women’s mixed martial artist Cris Cyborg.
The 34-year-old, a former featherweight champion for the Strikeforce and Invicta promotions, attracted personal abuse before she even became a UFC champion.
Three months before she knocked out Tonya Evinger at UFC 214 in 2014, Ronda Rousey called the Brazilian "an it" because she had tested positive for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid, three years prior.
"I don’t care if she’s injecting horse semen into her eyeballs," Rousey said to Yahoo Sports at the time. "This girl has been on steroids for so long she’s not even a woman anymore. She’s an ‘it.’ It’s not good for the women’s division."
Days later, White refused to condemn Rousey’s comments and said Cyborg looked like the former male fighter "Wanderlei Silva in a dress."
In 2015, Joe Rogan, the UFC commentator and host of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, joked that Cyborg had a penis. Then, in 2017, after Cyborg beat Holly Holm, a photographer at the gym Holm trains at repeatedly called Cyborg a man.
Cyborg has had to fight for respect in and out of the cage. But now, in 2019, it has taken its toll. After her win on Saturday over Felicia Spencer at UFC 240 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Cyborg said White had been bullying her and that her daughter gets bullied at school because other kids tell her that her mom has a penis.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC
"My daughter almost fight in school because this," Cyborg said at a post-event press conference at the weekend. "She back home, fight one kid saying things about me. I said to her you cannot fight a kid; you have to let it go.
"It’s no good," Cyborg said. "Kids listen now. Everyone in the media. And they see the things saying your mom has a penis."
Cyborg also said White’s oft-made statement that she doesn’t want to rematch Amanda Nunes, a dominant fighter she surrendered her featherweight championship to after a first-round knockout loss at UFC 232 in 2018, is damaging to her brand value as a fighter.
"There are a lot of things going on, a lot of issues, [between] me and the UFC," she said. "Everybody knows I don’t have the best or greatest relationship with UFC. I don’t have the best relationship with Dana White.
"He’s bullying me around. Bullying me on the internet, and I suffer bullying everywhere because of this. He never said he’s sorry to me about this. I have a daughter. I don’t think it’s nice.
"Saying I’m scared to fight Amanda Nunes. Saying I don’t want to fight her. Liar. I text him after the fight saying I want the rematch. This doesn’t help me grow my brand. This damage my brand. I don’t want somebody damage my brand. I want to grow together."
Cyborg’s victory over Spencer was the last on her current UFC deal. White recently said that he thinks Cyborg will join a different promotion for "easier fights" as she sees herself in "the twilight of her career."
Cyborg says differently. She told him to his face in a viral ESPN MMA video that she wants the rematch against Nunes. And said in the press conference that White told her that she "cannot be mad about everything [he] says in the media."
But she won’t be jumping at any offers that come her way from UFC. "We’re going to have to take a little time and see what is going to be better for me," she said, adding she is open to a new deal with cagefighting’s leading firm.
"You don’t have to love the boss, you just have to have respect between both," Cyborg said. "This is to make everything work together."
White has been called a bully before
Cyborg is not the only person to say White is a bully.
The former UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub made a lengthy video statement in 2018, after an Instagram feud with the UFC boss, where he called White a "bully" who "motivates by fear."
Schaub said if White were the head of any other corporation, he would lose his job over the way he behaves.
He added that he has the support of UFC fighters, staff, media members, and UFC’s most prominent sponsor, Reebok.
"You motivate by fear," Schaub said of White. "It’s not a way to run a business. You just can’t do that."
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