Ronda Rousey’s 16-second knockout win over Alexis Davis at UFC 175 might roll out the red carpet to one of the most feared female fighters on the planet, Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino.
UFC President Dana White has typically downplayed the possibility of Cyborg ever coming to the UFC, but there was a much different tone in his voice at Saturday night's media scrum, as relayed by Chuck Mindenhall of MMAFighting.com, following Rousey’s fourth consecutive UFC title defense.
When asked if he was interested in signing Cyborg, White simply responded “Mmhmm.” He then said:
You guys want me to sign her, is that what you’re saying? So, you guys the media are telling me I should sign Cyborg? Oh, I don’t know, I haven’t thought about it. Who likes it? Tell me. I want to know names.
After playfully taking names, White presented media members with an ultimatum for signing the Invicta women’s featherweight champ.
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“I just don't want to hear your bulls---t if I do,” he said. “Because this shit is going to flip as soon as I sign her—drug testing and all the other bulls---t. That’ll be the biggest topic. It’ll be the biggest f-----g story for you guys to write. The script will flip immediately.”
Drug testing has become a prevalent topic in the UFC these days, and given Cyborg’s history, it would certainly drum up some interest in the testing process.
Cyborg was stripped of the Strikeforce women’s featherweight title back in 2011 after testing positive for stanozolol, following a 16-second TKO win over Hiroko Yamanaka.
There haven’t been any other instances since that test. It was the first and only drug test she has failed in her professional career. According to White, the UFC offered Cyborg a deal when it bought Strikeforce, but she “turned the deal down.”
A potentially dangerous weight cut has always been the underlying issue between the UFC and Cyborg.
When speaking with Cyborg’s camp in 2012, Damon Martin of MMAWeekly.com reported that doctors shot down any notion of the Brazilian attempting to cut to 135 pounds. According to the report, the weight cut could prohibit Cyborg’s ability to carry children later in life.
With bantamweight being the only existing women’s division in the UFC, it was a foregone conclusion that Cyborg would never see the light of day on the big stage.
But recently, there has been talk of Cyborg getting a second opinion and finding a way to safely cut the weight. In a statement released to Axs.tv's Inside MMA, the Invicta champ vowed to drop to 135 pounds and “retire” Rousey.
If Cyborg can make the weight and White truly is onboard, the women’s division could finally be on the cusp of serving up its first ever superfight.