While it could be little more than a case of posturing, UFC legend-turned-manager Tito Ortiz has started expressing an extreme lack of confidence in star client Cristiane Santos’ ability to slim down and make 135 pounds as necessary for a spot in the UFC. While Ortiz has been making similar statements for the past few months, the former champion has taken it to another level, recently stating that “Cyborg” is trying her hardest to become a bantamweight but is losing faith in her ability to do so (as is he).
“Working with Cyborg is challenging. The girl wants to fight, of course, but it’s just a question with her getting down to 145. She really feels it’s impossible,” explained Ortiz yesterday on The MMA Hour. “I battle back and forth with her, telling her how the UFC is going to take care of her, this and that. We’re still just … we’re at the end of the rope, I think. I’m not sure if she wants to do it.”
“For Ronda to cut down the weight, yeah, she had a lot of extra weight on her,” he continued, referring to champion Ronda Rousey. “‘Cyborg’ doesn’t have much on her. She used to walk around at 170 and she lost some muscle mass just to try to see if she can get lower in this weight to do it. So far, so good. Like I said, she’s 160, 165. She bounces back around there. She says she stopped lifting weights the way she does and really just focusing on her jiu-jitsu. She’s been training, putting in the time.”
While Ortiz doesn’t personally believe Santos can complete the process in a healthy way, he let the MMA world know he’s doing his best to make a super-fight between Santos and Rousey a reality.
“I hope I can put this fight together, man. I’m trying my hardest. I hope Dana White understands. I hope Dana is listening to this and understands. I’m trying to get this thing together,” finished Ortiz in hopes of retaining some faith.
Santos is 10-1 in her career but hasn’t fought since December 2011 after being shelved due to a suspension for PED use. Her muscular physique has led many, including Rousey, to call for her to cut down, while UFC brass have even gone so far as to say the company will bring in a nutritionist to help Santos with the transition.
PHOTO CREDIT – NBC/STRIKEFORCE