'Cyborg' Justino says hate towards Ronda Rousey is 'terrible'

BY Elias Cepeda • January 15, 2016

Featherweight world champion Cris "Cyborg" Justino and former bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey have exchanged harsh words with one another over the years. Now that Rousey has fallen from the top, after her UFC 193 knockout loss to Holly Holm, Justino is not interested in piling on the Rowdy One along with the rest of the world.

In fact, the Brazilian, who defends her InvictaFC title Saturday in California, had encouraging and kind things to say about her rival. "I think she'd like to use this to challenge herself and get better," she recently told MMA Fighting.

"To come in and change. Something bad in life has to happen before you change and grow. I can't say anything bad about her. She's been good for women's MMA. She opened a lot of doors. I know I [fought] before her, but she had opportunities and she's handled it and helped everybody."

Though Rousey is smartly taking time off from competition to heal and take Hollywood opportunities, Justino believes that the Olympian will fight on after her first professional defeat. "I think maybe she won't stop, she'll keep going," she said.

"You can't care what people say. People can say what they say, but only you know. Only you and your family."

People have indeed said what they say, oftentimes strangely gleeful in celebrating Rousey's tough loss. Justino said that losing is nothing to be ashamed of, and lamented all the grief and hate Rousey has had directed her way.

"It's terrible," she said.

"When you're there, everybody is with you. I feel sorry about this. I know this because, before, something happened in my career -- the doping -- and before everybody is with you [and then they're not]. But I love my fans. Some fans kept with me and I'm sure she has that, too. It's sad, but sometimes it's good so you can see who's with you. You can see who you really have to appreciate."

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