Ronda Rousey: It's Cris Cyborg or Bust for Women's MMA as PPV Headliner

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Ronda Rousey: It's Cris Cyborg or Bust for Women's MMA as PPV Headliner
Ronda Rousey - MMAFighting and Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos Esther Lin/AllElbows.com

Unless Ronda Rousey fights Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos, women's MMA will inevitably fall flat on its face as a pay-per-view headliner.

In 2011, Dana White said women would never fight in the UFC.

Now, women won't only be competing in the UFC, but according to the UFC president, Rousey's debut will likely serve as the headliner of a pay-per-view card.

"She's the champ. Unless there's a weight division higher than her that the champ would be defending the title, then yeah, she'd be the main event," White told MMAFighting.com.

Unfortunately for women's MMA, Rousey is a big fish in a small pond.

No other woman possesses her combination of world-class skills and charisma. There really isn't any fighter the UFC could match her with at 135 pounds that warrants a main-event spot on a pay-per-view card.

Most fans are still warming up to the idea of women fighting in the UFC. It's highly doubtful the vast majority would be willing to fork over 54 bucks to watch Rousey armbar a non-marquee name in the first round.

There is the chance the UFC overloads a card with big names and tacks the Rousey title bout on top, but this tactic would have to be used every time she headlines a major event. Anything less would most likely lead to incredibly low pay-per-view numbers.

If Rousey is to headline a UFC pay-per-view, her debut on the mainstream stage should be against Cyborg, who is the only woman capable of matching her skills and notoriety.

It doesn't get any bigger than Rousey vs. Cyborg, which could be considered the women's version of Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva. Why not jump start the division with the most talked-about fight in women's MMA?

The only hurdle is the 10-pound weight difference, but this could easily be surpassed by making 140 pounds the official weight of the women's division. This would also open the doors to other female talent who can't make 135 pounds.

Bottom line, women's MMA really needs Rousey vs. Cyborg.

It is the only bout worthy of headlining a UFC pay-per-view. Rousey gives even Chael Sonnen a run for his money when it comes to hyping fights, and there is plenty of bad blood to play off on in her ongoing feud with Cyborg.

First impressions only come around once, and the UFC needs the right fight to get fans excited about women's MMA. One name can't do it alone.

For Rousey and the UFC, it's Cyborg or bust for women's MMA as a pay-per-view headliner.

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