Once upon a time, then UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey was unbeatable. She was the most dominant champion the sport had ever seen.
Rousey defended her title for the first time defeating Miesha Tate in 58 seconds. Next up was the Olympic silver medalist in wrestling Sara McMann, who lasted 66 seconds. Then Rousey turned it up, defeating Alexis Davis, Cat Zingano, and Bethe Correia in 64 seconds, combined.
Still, Rousey was widely considered to be the second best fighter in women’s MMA, behind Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino. The Brazilian fought at 145, a division the UFC does not have for women. And when the UFC does add another women’s division, it will be flyweight (125) not featherweight.
The UFC signed Justino, and paid her purse as she fought in Invicta FC, with an eye towards a slow drop to 135, and the biggest fight in WMMA history, and in all likelihood, the biggest fight in MMA history.
Then on November 15, 2015, Holly Holm knocked Rousey out at :59 of Round 2. Rousey has yet to fight again, although is reportedly back in training.
Still, in a recent interview with Brazilian media giant Globo, UFC president Dana White said he still wants the superfight.
“Cyborg is a huge star in the sport of mixed martial arts and in women’s MMA,” said White, as translated by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting. “She mows people over very quickly and very violently. People are waiting to see her get challenged, and we’re trying to challenge her. I think that when you talk about a headliner, somebody as big and as dominant and as scary as Cyborg is — she is a definite headliner — and obviously she is Brazilian, and she’s a big star down there. She’s a big star all over the world.”
“The dream fight for Cyborg is obviously the Ronda Rousey fight, but there’s other big names out there like Miesha Tate, Holly Holm and possibly — and I know Brazilians don’t like seeing Brazilians fight — but possibly Amanda Nunes.”
“I think that Cyborg has made it clear that she can’t make 135 pounds. We do have a couple of really good girls at 135 that would like to fight Cyborg, that would like to move up and take that challenge.”
“I think in a perfect world, what everybody would love to see is Ronda vs. Cyborg, so everybody is waiting — I’m sure Cyborg is, too — is the return of Ronda Rousey. When she does return, I’m sure he is gonna want to fight for the title, probably defend it and then maybe fight Cyborg. I don’t know. We’ll see how this thing plays out.”
Rousey’s return remains unknown. But Cris Cyborg fights Lina Lansberg in the main of
There is still no timetable for Rousey’s return but Cyborg fights Lina Lansberg in the main event of UFC Fight Night 95 on this Saturday, September 24, 2016 at Ginásio Nilson Nelson in Brasília, Brazil.