The hype around a superfight between former UFC champion Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg went up in flames last weekend when Rousey failed miserably in her attempt to regain her title at UFC 207.
Rousey suffered her second straight first-round knockout defeat at the hands of Brazilian striker Amanda Nunes. Her performance, in large part, is one of the reasons Cyborg and her coach wanted to get their hands on “Rowdy” before she retired.
“This is all I do…Neglect life, looking at people and the way they fight,” Cyborg coach Jason Parillo told the Extra Rounds podcast, per Elias Cepeda. “If we think about it, this is only the second girl that [Ronda] has fought that could stand up on her feet. The first girl that could stand up and fight a little, took her title. The second girl that could stand up and fight a little bit exposed her. It bums me out. I feel bad for Ronda Rousey. I was cheering for Ronda Rousey in that fight. I wanted Cris to get that limelight, of course. Of course, that’s what I preferred to see happen.”
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Cris Cyborg has been the most dominant women’s mixed martial artist for nearly a decade, as she’s gone unbeaten in all 18 of her fights since losing her debut in 2005. A feared striker with 15 wins by KO/TKO, Cyborg has only been to the judges once while finishing 10 of her fights in the first round.
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Rousey began her career with the same dominance, as she armbarred her way to the top of the UFC’s women’s bantamweight division. Some thought her world-class grappling chops would be enough to give Cyborg fits, but her recent shows against strikers put a kibosh on all of that.
Parillo believes that though Rousey is still young enough to work on her game and he doesn’t see Cyborg “going anywhere for the next four to five years,” the latest loss might have set Rousey back so much that it’s no longer a fight fans clamor to see.
“If you ask me, that fight’s over,” Parillo said. “That fight was just holding on by a string as it was because, if you ask me, Ronda was never going to agree to that fight. Even if she would have blown this Amanda Nunes away. I mean, maybe it would have given her confidence to take on Cris but really? No. It’s not as big as Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather, it’s not. Because Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao were talking about hundreds of millions apiece. We’re talking about a girl that’s just been knocked out, twice. Cris is … dominating her division. The hype for that is starting to tilt away, I think. I think they’ll be more hype for Amanda Nunes vs. Cris “Cyborg.”