As if Ronda Rousey does not have enough to worry about with her title fight tonight at the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s 170 card against former wrestling Olympian, Sara McMann; now she has arguably the best women’s fighter in mixed martial arts history threatening to beat Rousey’s “butt” in December. Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino laid down the challenge statement on Inside the MMA. This all would be for naught if Ronda were to lose to McMann at UFC 170 tonight, and would more than likely lose all of its appeal if Rousey is not the UFC women’s bantamweight champion. The fight itself will be main event on the card taking place in Las Vegas, and is widely considered the biggest women’s championship fight to date in the UFC.
Cris Cyborg and Rousey have been dishing each other verbal jabs ever since the UFC finally created a women’s division in the organization. Rousey went on to defeat Liz Carmouche for the first ever women’s championship in UFC history. Both fighters were fighting under the Strikeforce MMA banner before the merge. While Cyborg was a mainstay and the champion of the 145 lb. weight division, Ronda decided to drop weight classes to 135 lbs. after fighting in the same division. The UFC decided to create a weight division at bantamweight for the women, leaving Cyborg’s featherweight division behind and with no plans on making a featherweight division in the near future. Some in Rousey’s weight class were moved to the UFC to help fill then empty division, while Justino’s weight class full of fighters were spread throughout a few different organizations, with most of the women landing in the Invicta FC organization.
The war of words have stemmed through the years of Cyborg feeling that she was and is currently the rightful pound for pound best women’s fighter in the world, and felt the UFC went out of their way to endorse a less deserving fighter to their first-ever women’s title. Rousey did not take too kindly to Cyborg’s original comments, taking subtle jabs at Justino’s steroid suspension in 2011. Rousey has made it clear every time the media proceeds to ask about her rival, that she will not budge on weight to fight Cyborg. Stating that if Justino wants to fight her and wants the championship belt, she will have to drop down to the bantamweight division to do so. Rousey just recently stated that the former Strikeforce champ may now just be looking for a huge payday from the fight, saying Cyborg may look to retire after her cut of the earnings on a UFC pay-per-view. Justino declined those statements, saying she would love to kick Ronda’s a** for free in December.
Cyborg’s main justification for not wanting to make the weight cut was during a consultation with a doctor. The doctor told her that if she made the weight cut consistently, that she may die. Now just last night, she has retracted those previous statements, saying she couldn’t consistently fight at 135 lbs. but would be healthy enough to make the move for three fights. The first fight to win the Invicta FC bantamweight fight, the second fight to whip Rousey’s butt and take her title, and the third fight to beat up Rousey again and retire her for good, proving the first fight was no fluke before returning back to her healthy weight. These are harsh words from a fighter on the outside looking in on the UFC brand. Make no mistake about it though; the fight has made sense for the last few years and it’s a fight that fans may clamor for if Rousey is the victor Saturday night, as if they were not already clamoring for it. Sarah McMann may prefer Rousey to keep her focus on the task at hand though, as she may look to play spoiler in any future endeavors for the UFC women’s champion before any plans even come to fruition.
by Justin Huffman