Cris "Cyborg" Justino Responds to Dana White's Hurtful Criticism

Jeremy BotterMMA Senior WriterFebruary 17, 2014

Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Former Strikeforce women's champion Cris "Cyborg" Justino is mad, and she isn't going to take it anymore.

Justino issued a response to Dana White, who last week told media in Las Vegas that Cyborg was taking performance-enhancing drugs. White also said Justino looks like Wanderlei Silva.

Here's what Justino told Brazilian outlet Combate, with a translation from Bloody Elbow:

Nobody has the right to accuse you without evidence. I have explained many times that the doping episode was an error during the weight loss for that fight, and it is our mistake and we evolved. Just because we are not perfect, we have no right to judge anyone.

Two years have passed since then, I have served my suspension, I resumed my career, I returned with the help of champion Tito Ortiz and George Prajin, who extended their hand when everyone else turned away from me.

And, finally, fought three times since, and was tested in two of the last three fights. Can test me today, tomorrow or whenever they want. I'm with a clear conscience. I cannot be judged for the rest of my life for a mistake I made two years ago. I do not want to remember my whole career by the only mistake I made.

I was in attendance at the media session where White made his comments, so I have a unique view of this situation.

White is who he is. We've had an up-close look at the UFC president over the past decade-plus, and we know what to expect. He says what he thinks, and he doesn't have much of a filter. He's not going to change. This has endeared him to UFC fans around the world.

But sometimes White's honesty is a detriment, and I think this is one of those situations. There have been several jarring instances of White bashing his own fighters over the past few months—Alistair Overeem immediately comes to mind—and his comments often seem counterintuitive.

Paul A. Hebert/Associated Press

There is a difference, though, between being honest and being outright mean, not to mention making unfounded accusations. Yes, Justino has a drug test failure for stanozolol on her record. But as she noted, she has passed two drug tests since then. We must assume she is a clean fighter at the moment, at least until proven otherwise.

During White's tirade—detailed perfectly by Yahoo's Kevin Iole—I remember thinking to myself: I've seen many performances from White over the years, but this one might be the craziest. Red-faced and voice raised, he implored us to give him 10 random names so he could call and have them drug tested. We could not do such a thing, of course, because it is unprofessional; our job as journalists is to report the news, not create it.

White then said Justino looks like Silva. If his previous claims about her drug usage did not cross the line, this surely did. It was mean-spirited and totally uncalled for. Whatever you may think about Justino's looks, there's simply no reason for a comment comparing her looks to that of a male.

I've long thought that Justino vs. Ronda Rousey is the biggest money fight the UFC can make. I still believe that's the case, and I think there's a real chance it could happen in 2014. Yes, Justino says she can't make 135 pounds without risking death, but let's be honest with one another: That was simply a red herring. She can make 135 pounds by losing between eight and 10 pounds of muscle mass. Renowned fighter nutritionist Mike Dolce has repeatedly stated he can safely get her down to 135.

But if White continues with these kinds of comments, there's a very real chance Justino will be hurt and offended enough that she never signs with the UFC.

And that would be a sad thing for everyone involved. White loses out on a massive pay-per-view and the revenue it would put in the company coffers. The fans don't get to see an anticipated fight. And both Rousey and Justino lose the opportunity to see who the best female fighter in the world truly is.

All because White can't (or won't) stop saying the things that pop into his head.