TUESDAY NEWS DIGEST 5/23: Cyborg charged with battery for strike allegedly thrown at Magana at UFC athletes retreat (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

By Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor

Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino (photo credit Jason da Silva © USA Today Sports)

The incident between Angela Magana and Cris “Cyborg” Justino at this past weekend’s UFC Athlete Retreat has resulted in battery charges for Justino.

Cyborg threw a punch at Magana on Sunday after a heated argument over what Cyborg deemed as disrespectful tweets from Magana in recent months. Magana was treated at a Las Vegas hospital but has not seriously hurt. A short video of the incident emerged on Monday that confirms words were exchanged but the actual punch is blocked from view. The TMZ report claims that police viewed surveillance footage that showed Justino strike Magana on the left side of the face and also spoke to Bec Rawlings to corroborate details of the incident. Justino was contacted by Las Vegas police but chose not to make a statement.

TMZ has reported that Justino has been cited on misdemeanor battery charges by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. The citation means that she was not taken into custody, but still may have to appear in court and jail time is not likely.

Cyborg left a lengthy manifesto on her Facebook page that may give some insight into why she lashed out at Magana over the weekend. Cyborg cites a culture of disrespect towards herself within the UFC that dates to before she was with the company that has filtered down to her peers and to fans.

“When disparaging comments are made at the top, it sets an example that it is acceptable within the company, allowing lower-ranking individuals to continuing following examples of leaders, establishing the culture and practices of the company,” Cyborg wrote. “It is no secret I have been a victim of online bullying. At times in my career, it has felt like there has been a team of writers using the internet to shape the public’s vision of my company’s brand, often attempting to make me look like the face of anabolic abuse in the sport of MMA. While it has been years since someone has said I looked like ‘Wanderlei Silva in a dress,’ it doesn’t feel that long ago that I was listening to someone give me advice on how cutting off my dick would help me to make 135 lbs easier. When people see these actions of people high profile in the company being promoted through social media without consequence or even a public apology, they see it as an acceptable behavior within the company, and often view it as an encouraged opportunity at self-promotion. It should never be acceptable for a company to allow their employees to develop a culture where sexual harassment, racial prejudices, or female discrimination are acceptable in the workplace.”

Magana, meanwhile, has been trying to put the incident behind her, using the recent tragedy in Manchester as an example of more important issues to worry about. She also claimed that the TMZ report was inaccurate and the official police report will tell the true story.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: I feel for Cyborg in that she has ridiculed for her appearance by the leader of her profession and she’s right that if Dana White speaks a certain way about her then everyone underneath him will think it’s okay to do the same. That said, that doesn’t give her a right to punch people, so Magana was well within her rights to press charges. UFC has yet to make any kind of statement on the incident and we don’t know if this will have any influence on Cyborg’s employment status, but if UFC is looking for an excuse to cut Cyborg, this could be it.


UFC announced that Hospital for Special Surgery will serve as the promotion’s “official hospital” in a press release. The New York-based hospital will provide UFC fighters with access to their sports medicine physicians and will receive in-cage and digital advertising space in return.

-Al Iaquinta appeared on “The MMA Hour” on Monday and took credit for the UFC’s new association with the Hosptial for Special Surgery. Iaquinta had requested to use the hospital for a knee surgery recently but was turned down by UFC. “I’m like, are you f—ing kidding me?” he said. “I made that whole thing happen. I’m the one who put them in touch with the UFC.”

-UFC Bantamweight Cat Zingano posted a picture to Twitter of what she called a “thoughtful” gift from UFC apparel sponsor Reebok at the Athlete Retreat last weekend, a 50% off coupon for a purchase from Reebok.com.

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 5/22: A skirmish breaks out after over 400 fighters gather for UFC Athlete Retreat (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)

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