Cris ‘Cyborg’: ‘I’m ready’ to face Ronda Rousey at 135 pounds in December
The saga to put together a fight between UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Invicta FC featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino could be closer than ever to a resolution — depending on who you ask.
On Friday, Justino’s former manager, current wrestling coach and UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz stoked the flames about the potential matchup by saying the promotion had offered the Brazilian fighter the bout against Rousey for Dec. 5 at UFC 194.
That card is rumored to be bound to take place at AT&T Stadium in Texas, with more than 100,000 seats to fill for the event.
"I’ve heard from Cris actually that the fight that’s supposed to be happening at the Cowboys’ arena (is where she’ll fight Rousey)," Ortiz told Inside MMA last week. "They offered the fight to Cris. I know her management said yes and I’ve told her, ‘Let’s do it.’ So I guess the ball’s all in Ronda’s corner and Ronda wants to do it. Dana said if Cris came down to 135 they’ll make the fight happen, so let’s see if Ronda accepts the fight."
This is where the story takes a strange twist.
Just a day after Ortiz’s claims went public, UFC president Dana White quickly responded via Yahoo! Sports and said the fight was absolutely not offered to "Cyborg" and the former UFC light heavyweight champion was not being truthful about the proposed fight.
"That was a complete lie," White said. "It’s 100 percent a lie. First of all, the UFC doesn’t even talk to Tito Ortiz, so let’s start there. But we haven’t offered any fight to (Cyborg). Tito Ortiz is just making this s**t up. In no way, shape or form did we offer her a fight against Ronda at Cowboys Stadium. Completely untrue."
At this point, "Cyborg" decided to get involved in the conversation by interjecting her own statement via Facebook.
"I’m not lying, nor is Tito," Justino wrote. "UFC called my manager last Sunday to see if I would fight Ronda at 135 on Dec. 5 at Cowboy Stadium. I said, ‘I’m ready!’"
Justino’s manager and attorney George Prajin then doubled down on what his fighter and Ortiz said about the proposed bout, but not without carefully wording his statement.
According to Prajin, “multiple conversations” took place between UFC officials and those representing “Cyborg.” Prajin also stated that “Cyborg” is willing and able to cut down to 135 pounds to meet Rousey in December.
"I can also confirm the end result of those conversations is that Cris is agreeable to fighting Ronda on Dec. 5 at Cowboys Stadium (at 135 pounds)," Prajin said to ESPN.
While all of this may be true, the problem still remains that the UFC has stated since day one when talking about bringing “Cyborg” into the promotion is her ability to cut down to 135 pounds safely for a fight with Rousey.
“Cyborg” currently fights at 145 pounds and walks around 20 to 30 pounds heavier before cutting down to her current weight class. Shedding an additional 10 pounds has always been the issue with putting together a Rousey vs. “Cyborg” super fight.
“Cyborg” maintains she would be ready for the fight on Dec. 5, but at this point with the card about four months away, it’s hard to tell if the highly anticipated bout would actually come together or if this is all smoke and mirrors.