The UFC Will Have Ronda Rousey And Cyborg Justino Fight Sooner Than Later
Rousey needs Justino, Justino needs Rousey
Two weeks ago, Ronda Rousey finished off yet another challenger to her UFC Women’s Bantamweight Title. Bethe Correia was taken out just 34 seconds into her fight against Rousey and the 2015 ESPY Award winner for Best Fighter moved to 12-0 in her MMA career. On the horizon looks to be a third fight against rival Miesha Tate and after two wins over Tate already, the public may not be as pumped up for this fight as they were for Rousey’s previous fights.
What seems to be the elephant in the room is a future fight between Rousey and former Strikeforce Women’s Featherweight Champion and current Invicta FC Featherweight Champion Cristane “Cyborg” Justino. This seems to be a no-brainer as Rousey has ran through the UFC and is kind of out of opponents, as evident by Tate being mentioned for another fight against Rousey. In order to get a fight against Justino in the Octagon, there are a few of issues to iron out first.
Rousey is currently the Bantamweight Champion which is the 135-lb. weight class. Justino is the Featherweight Champion in Invicta FC, which has the allowed weight for that division at between 136 and 145 lbs. Justino fights at 145 consistently and has for most of her career. Justino’s camp has angled for about a year that a fight between the two champions should be at a catchweight of 140 pounds, something Rousey and the UFC has consistently said no which seemed like a deal breaker for a future match. Now in recent weeks, it seems as if Cyborg and her camp are easing the weight limit and may be willing to drop to 135 pounds. Justino’s nutritionist George Lockhart said in an interview that she can get down to 135 pounds and be successful at that weight.
“If they want her to fight Dec. 5, it would be within the timeline,” Lockhart told MMAFighting.com. “It would be close, but she could definitely make 135 before Dec. 5. A lot of people don’t have the athleticism or the conditioning or the mindset to do this. She does. I don’t see it being a problem at all.”
Earlier this week, Rousey’s striking coach Edmond Tarverdyan told Submission Radio that Rousey would not accept a fight at a catchweight of 140 lbs. so that is not even an option.
So in adition to the fight weight issues, next on the docket of issues are the representation of Justino. Her former manager, current wrestling coach and UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz is not well liked by UFC President Dana White which is common knowledge. The dislike might have gotten worse after Ortiz told AXS TV’s “Inside MMA” that UFC offered Cyborg the fight against Rousey for December.
“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 said. “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.”
From there Dana White went off and said that Ortiz’s statement was false. “That was a complete lie,” White told Yahoo Sports. “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.”
Cyborg took to Facebook to backup what Ortiz said originally and then Justino’s management also pushed their chips to the middle of table stating that the UFC did in fact make her an offer. At this point we have a massive game of he said, he said and bad blood could be developing between the two parties. Dana White is known to be extremely fickle and is also known to hold grudges so Tito Ortiz reporting stories of negotiations, whether true or not, could turn him off from a possible match between two of the most dominant female fighters in the world.
When it comes to the UFC in the immortal words of Wu-Tang Clan, Cash Rules Everything Around Them. This match-up has what major feuds need…intrigue, bad blood and most importantly, it has two major names in the industry going head to head. Bethe Correia was a good trash talker heading into the Rousey fight but did anyone really think that she would actually beat Ronda Rousey? People are looking at Rousey vs. Cyborg and many believe that Cyborg could dethrone Rousey and give her first loss.
The fight will happen sooner than later. Once Rousey defeats Miesha Tate for the third time (is there any doubt?), she will need an opponent and Cyborg is the only one that is left. Rousey needs that one career defining fight on her resume and right now she is missing that. Cyborg needs to prove to everyone that she is as good as Rousey and that she can do it without PED’s, something that has plagued her career in recent years. They both may hate to admit it but…
Ronda Rousey needs Cris Justino and Cris Justino needs Ronda Rousey.
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