Cris Cyborg Shoots Down UFC Bout with Ronda Rousey, But Open to WWE Match

Steven RondinaFeatured ColumnistSeptember 19, 2017

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 15: UFC Featherweight Champion Cris Cyborg attends a press conference at the Hilton Hotel in Copacabana on August 15, 2017 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Longtime Ronda Rousey coach Edmond Tarverdyan raised eyebrows on Monday when he discussed the possibility of a superfight between his star pupil and archrival Cris "Cyborg" Justino. Well, his words reached the ears of the newly crowned UFC featherweight champion and she isn't interested...at least not in the way most fans would expect.

Speaking with MMA Fighting, Cyborg shot down the idea of facing Rousey in the Octagon but opened the door for a different kind of showdown. 

"If Ronda wants to come back for a fight, I believe it's better for her to fight Miesha Tate," she said of the former UFC bantamweight champion who retired last November. "I'm in another stage of my career. I wanted to fight Ronda when she was psychologically well and confident."

Ronda Rousey was soundly defeated in her last fight by Amanda Nunes.
Ronda Rousey was soundly defeated in her last fight by Amanda Nunes.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Rousey was last seen in the cage in December when she posted a less-than-strong performance against UFC women's bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes, a showing that saw her knocked out in the first round of the UFC 207 main event. The loss, and her reaction to it, drew many questions as to whether Rousey was technically or psychologically capable of competing with the sport's best in 2017, with Cyborg clearly deeming her unfit for a chance at her featherweight belt.

That said, Justino isn't completely dismissing the idea of facing Rousey. She just wants to do so in the squared circle, rather than the Octagon. "Now, if she wants to make a good fight for the fans, we can make it at WWE," she said. "It would fit perfectly [for her] to go to Hollywood, and for me [it] would be another challenge in my career."

Ronda Rousey has been rubbing shoulders with WWE stars like Stephanie McMahon and Triple H quite often lately.
Ronda Rousey has been rubbing shoulders with WWE stars like Stephanie McMahon and Triple H quite often lately.Bryan Steffy/Getty Images

With Rousey seemingly WWE-bound after making numerous appearances in the stands and locker room in recent broadcasts, a Rousey vs. Cyborg bout in the ring seems more likely than one in the cage. That said, Cyborg's interest in the WWE has been going unrequited for months now, so don't expect her to appear on Monday Night Raw anytime soon.