There were plenty of eyeballs fixated on Saturday’s heavily-hyped shootout between Strikeforce bantamweight queen Ronda Rousey and Sarah Kaufman. UFC president Dana White even flew into San Diego to watch the scrap live.
Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos (Pictured) was also sitting front and center inside Valley View Casino to scout her archenemy do her armbar thing firsthand. The key word in that sentence is “WAS.”
According to the former featherweight champ, who is currently serving a year-long ban after stanozolol metabolites were found in her system, the California State Athletic Commission kicked her out of her seat before Rousey entered the hexagon to make her first title defense.
“I watched all fights but on the last one, Ronda’s, a woman working on the event came to tell me I had to leave because the commission doesn’t accept suspended athletes on the shows,” Cyborg told Tatame.com. “My manager talked to the guys at the commission and there’s really a law that says that.
“I was upset for the way they treated me. They could’ve pulled me on a corner and told me, not in front of the fans. I was taking pictures and they interrupted me, saying I had to go. It was very disrespectful. I believe a champion deserves to be treated with respect. Everyone knows an athlete’s life isn’t easy, so all fighters deserve respect. When I was in Brazil, I watched UFC and there was no problem.”
The CSAC is the board that levied Cyborg’s suspension, so perhaps that’s why she was targeted. Furthermore, Brazil doesn’t have a committee to oversee their MMA events. The UFC employs an expert staff of regulators and physicians to run things in jiu jitsu country.
Cyborg claims she was forced to watch the featured attraction from upstairs, without a seat. The bright side is she didn’t have to stand for too long because it only took Rousey all of 54 ticks to dispose of Kaufman.