Invicta featherweight champ Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino would have to cut at least 40 pounds to make bantamweight and challenge Ronda Rousey for the UFC title.
Women’s MMA has led the charge in this MMA-filled weekend, spearheaded by Cyborg and Rousey’s title defenses. While Rousey collected Cat Zingano’s arm with a 14-second submission Saturday at UFC 184, Cyborg bludgeoned Charmaine Tweet in just 46 seconds Friday at Invicta FC 11.
Both fights ending in highlight-reel fashion only stirred the masses clamoring for a superfight between the two champions. But at the UFC 184 post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White shot down any hopes of Rousey moving up to 145 pounds or taking a catchweight fight. If the superfight is to happen, he fully expects Cyborg to make 135 pounds.
“Why would the champ go there? It just doesn’t make sense,” said White. “She’s the 135-pound champion here; she’s dominant. The champ doesn’t chase other people. If you want to fight the champ, you go to the champ.”
Cyborg, who puts a lot of effort into making featherweight, has committed to attempting a huge weight cut to give fans the fight they want to see. She recently posted a picture of herself on Twitter weighing in at 175 pounds three days after making the 145-pound mark to fight Tweet.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, this image should speak volumes to those still in the dark about the difficulties of cutting weight. Fighting at 135 pounds for Cyborg isn’t simply shedding 10 pounds. Fighters typically walk at a much heavier weight than they compete at before cutting down.
Cyborg has never competed as a bantamweight in her entire professional career. However, Rousey has competed multiple times in the featherweight division and at 154 pounds in Judo. Even if Cyborg miraculously cut 40 pounds, how would her body hold up after such a strenuous weight cut?
If Rousey and the UFC aren’t willing to move up, this bout will likely fall into the pile of dream fights that never came to fruition.
Jordy McElroy is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA writer for Rocktagon and FanRag Sports.