Is it finally time for the UFC to sign the baddest woman on the planet not named Ronda Rousey? Will UFC President Dana White eat his words through a tweet and welcome Cris “Cyborg” Justino to the UFC?
In boxing, the dream fight is Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao. In MMA, it’s Rousey vs. Cyborg. The fight has been plagued by the fact that Cyborg has been popped for using performance enhancement drugs; she’s 10 pounds heavier than Rousey; and she doesn’t even fight in the UFC.
But those are obstacles that can be overcome. Here are 5 reasons why we might be closer to a dream fight than we think:
5. Rousey Needs Competition
Listen up Rousey haters: You’re wrong. Rousey is not a fluke or a flash-in-the pan. If she were a male fighter she’d be badder than Mike Tyson in his prime. She’s the real-life equivalent of Bill Goldberg on a tear in WCW in the 1998. She’s unstoppable. She embarrassed the UFC’s top female talent: Sara McMann, Alexis Davis, Sarah Kaufman and Liz Carmouche, faster than it takes to fill up your gas tank at Costco. Miesha Tate survived longer, but just barely, and Rousey has whipped her twice. Beyond Cat Zingano, who is returning soon from two serious knee injuries, or newly signed Holly Holm, there’s no one left for Rousey to fight.
4. White’s Cyborg Comments
White recently said this to the media about Cyborg:
“I just don’t want to hear your bullsh*t if I do (sign her) because this sh*t is going to flip as soon as I sign her, about drug testing and all the other bullsh*t. It’ll be the biggest f*cking topic. It’ll be the biggest f*cking story for you to write. Oh my f*cking God. The script will flip immediately.”
Clearly White has been thinking about the fallout of signing Cyborg and the possibility of the media turning on him and her if he does so.
3. Money, Money, Money
Besides a Jon Jones vs. Cain Velasquez, Rousey vs. Cyborg is the biggest fight in MMA. Rousey crushes fighters. Cyborg crushes fighters. A fight between the two would be one minute of mayhem and one minute of money. It’s hard to imagine a greater PPV event to order in MMA. White knows that there’s money in the dream fight. It needs to happen before Rousey goes to Hollywood.
2. Invicta Partnership
Cyborg is scheduled to fight for Invicta in December, on a card that will air on UFC Fight Pass. Cyborg is only one degree removed from the UFC now and it seems inevitable that if the UFC and Invicta can work out a deal, that it only makes sense that the best fighter in Invicta fight the best female fighter in the UFC. Cyborg will also be fighting at 135 pounds, which was the whole hang-up before. Cyborg didn’t want to drop down to 135, but if she is going to do it in Invicta, she certainly would do it against Rousey for the bantamweight championship.
1. Rousey’s Legacy
It’s really tough to know how great Rousey can be when she’s cracking girls’ heads in 16 seconds. Rousey needs a fighter to take her into the deep water and see how she responds. Even though Tate took Rousey into round three, Tate was never really in the fight. Carmouche took Rousey’s back for a few seconds, but Rousey slipped out quickly. Rousey needs to beat a fighter that people actually believe has a chance of beating her. One thing’s clear about Cyborg: she won’t be scared. She will come out throwing punches looking for the knockout. There won’t be a feeling out process. Rousey will have to stand up to a woman who attacks her, a very unfamiliar position for her.
Such as fight would only make Rousey fight harder. Velasquez’ legacy grew when he defeated Junior Dos Santos, a man who knocked him out. For all the haters out there who don’t understand how difficult it is to do what Rousey has done in her career, a victory over Cyborg would show that she really was that good.
She embarrassed the UFC’s top female talent: Sara McMann, Alexis Davis, Sarah Kaufman and Liz Carmouche, faster than it takes to fill up your gas tank at Costco.