Cris ‘Cyborg’ to Ronda Rousey: ‘This fight has to happen’
Ronda Rousey has smashed through the UFC women’s bantamweight division in record time, beating her last four opponents in a combined 130 seconds while adding three knockouts and one submission to her already impressive resume.
Next up for Rousey is a third fight against former Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate, whom she’s already fought and submitted on two previous occasions.
While Tate has certainly done everything asked of her to earn another crack at Rousey, the person who has been pegged as the ultimate foil to the most dominant athlete in sports is Invicta FC featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino.
“Cyborg” has been running through the competition at 145 pounds just as dominantly as Rousey has at 135, but the matchup hasn’t come together because the Brazilian hasn’t been able to shed the pounds to move down to the lower-weight division.
For years, “Cyborg” has begged the UFC and Rousey to meet her in the middle and make the fight happen at 140 pounds, but neither side seems willing to budge. On Wednesday while appearing on ESPN, “Cyborg” says that she’s more than ready to face Rousey tomorrow if the UFC is willing to make the fight, but she believes it’s the champion who should make the concession when it comes to the weight class.
"Ronda Rousey already cleaned out her division and she’s doing fight No. 3 with Miesha Tate and this shows for us she already cleaned the division. When a champ cleans out a division, everybody saw this, the champ goes up to fight somebody else. I’m a champion at 145 and I can drop to 140 to fight her," Justino said.
You don’t have to do it for me. If I don’t deserve this fight, fans of MMA and women’s MMA want to see this fight and they deserve this fight.
— Cris 'Cyborg' Justino
"The right way she has to make 145 because champions always do this when you clean out your division."
Rousey and UFC president Dana White don’t seem to agree with “Cyborg.”
Over the weekend at UFC 190, Rousey slammed “Cyborg” as a steroid user and claimed she could easily make 135 pounds if she stopped using performance-enhancing drugs. White didn’t throw any similar accusations when discussing “Cyborg”, but he doubled down on the notion that if the fight is going to happen, it has to be at 135 pounds.
“Cyborg” went as far as stating she might have an attorney get involved because Rousey continuously targets her for cheating, but in reality she just wants to get the fight set so she can prove, once and for all, who is the best women’s fighter on the planet.
"She can’t say anything about my doping," “Cyborg” said. "I did this in 2011 and I already passed six tests and it’s the same exams she’s doing. Because we are in the same organization now. All exams are the same commission. I don’t think it’s right she says something she cannot prove.
"I’m ready. I’ve been ready for this fight for a long time. If it don’t happen now because it don’t happen, but I think if the UFC wants to make this fight happen, they have the power to do it. I’m ready. Tomorrow, I want to fight. I’d fight. I go to win. She already knows this."
In the end, “Cyborg” says that a fight with Rousey isn’t just for her benefit, it’s the matchup that all the fans want to see and deserve to see.
White has stated that he believes a fight between Rousey and “Cyborg” could generate upwards of 2.5 million pay-per-view buys, which would be the biggest UFC card in history by a wide margin.
That appears to be one subject “Cyborg” agrees with the UFC president because she wants to make the biggest fight in history happen sooner rather than later.
"People would see a different fight if they watch me and Ronda Rousey. It would be different. This fight has to happen," “Cyborg” said. "Because if the UFC thinks this fight I don’t deserve this fight, don’t do it for me, do it for all the fans who want to watch this fight.
"You don’t have to do it for me. If I don’t deserve this fight, fans of MMA and women’s MMA want to see this fight and they deserve this fight."