Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino made some waves earlier yesterday when she announced her plan to drop to 135 pounds in order to "retire" Ronda Rousey on Axs TV's Inside MMA. Shortly after Rousey defended her belt from Sara McMann in the UFC 170 main event, she called out the champ. Via Twitter:
While fans and media alike have been clamoring for a Rousey vs. Cyborg superfight for years now, Dana White shot down the notion that the fight would happen anytime soon when asked about Cyborg's statements at the UFC 170 post-fight press conference. Our own Jeremy Botter tweeted the statement:
Dana says Cyborg needs to make 135 a couple of times elsewhere and then they'll see what happens.— Jeremy Botter (@jeremybotter) February 23, 2014
That said, he did not close the door on it as a possible option down the line:
Dana said if Cyborg is healthy at 135, they can do the fight. So, yeah. That's going to happen.— Jeremy Botter (@jeremybotter) February 23, 2014
That, however, may just doom any hopes for the fight.
Cyborg stated, on the advice of her doctor, she was only willing to take three fights at 135 pounds. The UFC, regardless of whether or not the former Strikeforce and current Invicta FC champion makes the weight once or twice, would almost certainly be unwilling to bring aboard Cyborg if they only had her for a short length of time. The potential for Cyborg beating Rousey, earning the belt and immediately vacating it is very real, and something the UFC simply wouldn't be willing to put up with.
Because of that, unless Cyborg is willing to commit to fighting at 135 pounds for an indefinite length of time, she will not get a crack at Rousey, or likely even get a chance in the UFC (unless the promotion suddenly introduces a women's featherweight division, which is incredibly unlikely).
It will be interesting to see if Justino decides to either shed several pounds of muscle to make the cut easier, or if she remains content dominating competition in both MMA and kickboxing.