After Ronda Rousey needed just 34 seconds to knock out Bethe Correia in Brazil on Saturday night, many are wondering if there is any female fighter in the world who can stop the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion. The next in line to try could be Cris “Cyborg” Justino.
UFC president Dana White said after UFC 190 that he would put together a Rousey-Cyborg fight the day Cyborg commits to getting down to 135 pounds.
Dana White: The day Cyborg makes the weight, the Rousey fight is going to happen. I think that fight does 2.5 million PPV buys.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) August 2, 2015
Cyborg currently fights at 145 pounds in the Invicta Fighting Championships because the UFC doesn’t have a 145-pound division for women. She wrote on her Facebook page Sunday morning that her next fight will be at 140.
“My next fight is 140lbs, then I hope we get a chance to give fans the WMMA fight the most violent fight in the history of MMA!” Cyborg wrote.
Rousey, who fights at 135, said she is ready to fight Cyborg whenever the Brazilian fighter ditches the steroids.
“I’m prepared to deal with anything. That’s why I’m the champ,” Rousey said Saturday, via Damon Martin of FOXSports.com. “I fight in the UFC 135-pound division. She can fight at 145 pumped full of steroids and she can make weight just like everybody else without them.”
Cyborg was popped for using steroids before a fight in 2011. White has made some huge guarantees about a potential Rousey-Cyborg fight, but Cyborg has to shed some pounds first.
For now, it appears that Rousey could be heading toward a third fight with Miesha Tate for her next title defense.
Cris “Cyborg” Justino has been labeled by many as the one female fighter who has a chance to strip Ronda Rousey of her UFC title. A potential fight between the two has been discussed for years, but Cyborg would have to get down to the bantamweight division in order for it to happen.
If the fight ever does come to fruition, UFC president Dana White is confident it would shatter previous pay-per-view records.
On Wednesday, White told Jim Rome that a Rousey-Cyborg fight would “definitely” eclipse 2 million PPV buys.
When that fight happens, I guarantee you that thing does over two million pay-per-view buys,” White said, via Ryan McKinnell of Yahoo Sports. “It will be massive.”
The most PPVs a UFC event has ever sold was 1.6 million when Brock Lesnar fought Frank Mir and Georges St-Pierre took on Thiago Alves at UFC 100. UFC has lost some of its popularity since then, but White doesn’t think that would be an issue.
“There’s no denying that Cyborg is a beast,” he said. “She’s tough and many people, including myself, believe that Ronda’s the best in the world and the best female fighter ever. It’s one of those fights that’s very intriguing.”
White would likely make sure the card was loaded with big names outside of the main event, but 2 million PPV buys still seems like a stretch.
Cyborg has not lost a fight since her debut in 2005, and she has been dominant in the Octagon like Rousey. Cyborg typically finishes opponents with knees and punches, while Rousey has mastered the armbar submission.
Cyborg, who was popped for using steroids before a fight in 2011, currently fights at 145 pounds. She would have to get down to 135 to face Rousey, but White said he is confident Cyborg can make that weight by later this year.
Rousey has been very critical of Cyborg in the past. She once referred to Cyborg as an “it,” and that’s not even the worst thing Rousey has said about the former Strikeforce champion. While 2 million buys seems like a reach, Rousey-Cyborg is certainly a fight people want to see.
Cris Cyborg Justino is languishing in the women’s MMA world and disenchanted with the entire industry.
Cyborg, who was the women’s Strikeforce featherweight champion and is currently the Invicta FC World Featherweight champion, is being left out as the UFC establishes a women’s division. Fighters like Ronda Rousey, Cat Zingano, Miesha Tate, Holly Holm, Liz Carmouche and even Gina Carano are booking the big fights or being talked about. Cyborg, meanwhile, has turned to kickboxing over the past year.
A lot of this has to do with Cyborg’s positive drug test in 2012, which makes her a questionable addition to the UFC roster. But another issue is whether or not Cyborg is marketable; Rousey, Tate and Carano all gained a ton of popularity thanks to their good looks. Cyborg called out the UFC over this issue.
Cyborg held a Q&A with fans at the UnderGround Forums this week and answered some big questions about women’s MMA. In the three responses below, you can see how she dislikes the political/marketing nature for the fights:
Q. What advice would you give to a young woman getting started as a MMA fighter today?
A. Make a bunch of photo shoots and spend more time on Instagram and Facebook than training.
Q. How long until you are in the UFC?
A. This isn’t my choice. In the beginning if you won you moved up rankings and fought the best now it is more about fans, twitter, tv. I know I am the best female MMA fighter, and I want the best stage to show that. God will work his plan, I just have to focus on training and winning.
Q. Carano vs Rousey. Was this amusing to you?
A. When I heard rumors of this fight, it made me feel like the game of MMA is changing. it’s political now.
It’s understandable why Cyborg, who whooped up on Carano (though the former was likely on something), would be bothered by talk of a Carano-Rousey fight. There is a ton of tension between Rousey and Cyborg, with lots of name-calling going on between them.
Cyborg was asked about her relationship with Rousey and a potential fight between them.
Q. Do you dislike Ronda on a personal level for all the trash talk about you or do you see it as hype in case of a future fight?
A. I think Rhonda has the type of personality where she needs the attention. I don’t have anything personal against her. I heard when she first started fighting mma she used to watch my fights, I’ve always been curious which fight was her favorite. My first fight was 2005, and I came to america with Elite XC in 2008. I am from a different time. Remember when Wanderlia Silva fought Mark Hunt in PRIDE? What weight was that fight? That is Chute Boxe. That is fighting because you love it. If she really wanted this fight it would have happened already. I find the interviews funny, my friends in Brazil and the USA always call me to see what I will say. The fight will happen or the fans of MMA will robbed of history.
Q. If it happens, how do you see you vs Rhonda fight transpiring?
A. Tough fight, I win.
At least she gave Rousey enough credit to say it would be a tough fight.
It would be a great fight, and Rousey says she would be willing to fight Justino despite believing her nemesis is a cheater. Personally, I’m fine either way. If the fight happens, it will be nice to see Rousey beat the cheater. If it doesn’t, that’s just as well because you could argue Cyborg doesn’t deserve the shot.
That’s another thing: I think Cyborg is obfuscating her alienation from the UFC by ascribing it to a lack of popularity or marketability, when really it has to do with her being a marked cheater.
Forearm bash to Bloody Elbow
- Cyborg Santos
Ronda Rousey and Cris “Cyborg” Justino have long been rivals in the MMA world despite never facing each other.
Cyborg dominated the Strikeforce women’s featherweight division from 2009-2010 before Rousey took over in 2011. The Brazilian fighter, who is 12-1 (with one no contest) in her pro MMA career, tested positive for steroids following her Dec. 17, 2011 win over Hiroko Yamanaka. She disappeared for a year and a half while she cleaned up, giving Rousey the chance to take over as the biggest name in the sport.
Rousey became the face of women’s MMA and ran through her competition to the point that many have called for her to fight Cyborg. Though Rousey is not afraid to fight Justino, she is always more than willing to rip the cheater. Two years ago, Rousey said that Cyborg was a dick and has a dick. In April, she called Cyborg an “it.”
Rousey spoke with the Brazilian media in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday and took some time to lay into Cyborg again. Rousey said she would be willing to fight Cyborg but says the steroids user’s only strength as a fighter is her strength, which is obtained through unnatural means.
“She was fighting, it was a while ago, and she just got dropped five times in a match. And really, to be honest, I haven’t been really too impressed with her actual skill set,” Rousey said via MMAFighting.com. “It’s only her strength that she draws off.”
Rousey then went on to say that Cyborg is not technically proficient as a fighter.
“The mistakes that she makes technically are absolutely terrible and basic. The only reason why she gets away with it is because of her strength, and people don’t realize how strong I actually am. Ask the girls that I’ve fought. They weren’t expecting this. Because I don’t look like it, it doesn’t mean I don’t have it.
“She doesn’t have any feeling in her punches, she pushes her punches. She can’t knock people out with one punch, she just overwhelms them,” she added. “My pace, nobody can overwhelm me. And the way that she is on the ground, it’s absolute horrendous. And her distance is absolute horrendous. The only thing that she has is pace and power, and I have pace, precision and power.”
Rousey also said Cyborg was going to fight in the UFC but bailed as soon as she found out fighters would be subjected to random drug testing. Rousey believes Cyborg has avoided dropping down from 145 pounds to 135 because she knows it would be difficult to dope and drop the weight.
Even though Rousey knows many people will cheat, she says she will always be clean and it will feel more satisfying to beat them despite being at a disadvantage.
“The reason why people dope is because they lack self-confidence. The reason why [Cyborg] was using steroids is because that girl does not believe that the best that she has is good enough, and that will always be there in her mind. And you know what, she’s right. The best that she has isn’t good enough, even on drugs.”
“You know what, you can have every advantage in the world over me, you can have better funding, you can have a better program, be on all the drugs in the world, but I’m gonna be good enough to beat you despite of it.”
Rousey has a big mouth and people dislike her for that, but it’s hard not to love those comments. How can you not root for someone with that attitude?
[Also see: Whom will Ronda Rousey fight next?]
Don’t expect Ronda Rousey to be reprimanded by the UFC for calling Cyborg Justino an “it” when the boss of the company has very similar beliefs about the controversial female fighter.
Rousey, who has verbally sparred with Cyborg over the years, took matters even further during a recent interview with Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole. Rousey ripped Cyborg, saying that she could be the end of women’s MMA if she became champion. Rousey also criticized Cyborg for cheating and said all the steroids Cyborg have taken turned her from a woman into an “it.”
Many people felt that comment crossed the line and that the organization should discipline her for it. One MMA apparel company was so incensed over the comment that they offered $5,000 to any fighter who knocks out Rousey.
But UFC boss Dana White is on the same page as Rousey. On Thursday he defended Rousey for the namecalling and even went so far as to say that Cyborg looks like a man.
“She called her an it. [Cyborg] calls Ronda a chicken. Should Ronda be offended at being called a chicken? Grow the f–k up, everybody,” White said Thursday at a press conference in Baltimore ahead of UFC 172, via MMA Fighting.
“I said, when I saw [Justino] at the MMA Awards, she looked like Wanderlei Silva in a dress and heels. And she did, did she not? Who wants to dispute that she didn’t look like Wanderlei?” added White.
“She was walking up the stairs, jacked up on steroids beyond belief and looked like Wanderlei Silva in a dress and heels.”
Seriously, if you thought what Rousey said was bad, then what do you make of White’s comments? And with White defending Rousey — and we already know Rousey is his favorite — how can you expect any discipline?
This is just the latest example in a series of many unprofessional moments from Dana White.
Ronda Rousey has made it clear over the past few years that she does not like Cris Cyborg Justino, and in case you weren’t aware, she cemented that point a few days ago.
Rousey talked with Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole Friday about some of her potential opponents. Rousey is scheduled to fight Alexis Davis on July 5, but the her potential fights are much more intriguing. Those would be against three people who aren’t even in the UFC — Cyborg, Gina Carano and Holly Holm.
Though Rousey had praise for Carano and showed interest in facing Holm, she ripped Cyborg. Rousey also said that while she is willing to face Cyborg, she does not agree with the steroids cheat being promoted by the organization.
“I’ve said before, I don’t care if she’s injecting horse semen into her eyeballs, I’ll fight her, but that’s just my personal decision,” Rousey told Iole. “But I can’t make a decision for the whole division. I can’t say it’s the right thing. This girl has been on steroids for so long and [has been] injecting herself for so long that she’s not even a woman anymore. She’s an ‘it.’ It’s not good for the women’s division. It’s not good at all.
“If she comes in the UFC and I beat the [expletive] out of her and then I retire and become an action movie star, then the UFC is still going to be stuck with her. The division could die. She could ruin the whole sport. Even though it’s a fight a lot of people want to see, even if I beat the living crap out of her, it won’t be good for the sport because then she’d still be in the UFC.
“I really think with Cyborg taking all of those steroids and hormones and then going into the cage, it’s like going in with a weapon. It’s certainly very negligent, but it’s also criminal. I believe, it really is. Promoting her would be promoting that act and I think it would be wrong in every way.”
Cyborg was busted for using stanozolol prior to her Dec. 2011 fight with Hiroko Yamanaka. She’s defended herself by saying that she is naturally muscular and that’s it, if you can believe that.
Rousey says the UFC should have a zero-tolerance policy for cheaters like the Olympics.
And here’s another interesting tidbit from Rousey: not only does she say it would be an honor to fight Carano, but she and her coach also believe the actress would be a tougher opponent than Cyborg. I definitely disagree with that notion.
I do have to say that it’s pretty darn awesome that Rousey is willing to fight Cyborg even though she believes the woman is on steroids. It truly shows how confident and fearless she is, and that’s awesome. That’s exactly why fans love her. In many ways, she embodies the spirit of a true champion.
Glove touch to Bloody Elbow
Ronda Rousey is quickly becoming as legendary for her trash talking as she is for her brutalizing arm bars.
The female MMA fighter responded to a Cris Cyborg Santos tweet on Monday with one of the best burns of the year.
“You don’t just have a dick, you are a dick for posting that picture of Gina, you cheater,” Rousey wrote to Santos over Twitter.
What was the picture that prompted the harsh response? Santos posted a doctored picture of Gina Carano, whom the Brazilian badly beat in 2009.
Santos deleted the picture, but Cagewriter shared it with us: