Last week, Ronda Rousey was introduced by Dana White as the first female UFC champion.
The opponent for Rousey’s debut at UFC 157 is Liz Carmouche, but the fight fans really want to see pits the bantamweight champion against Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos. In an interview with Sherdog.com, Santos confirmed that negotiations stalled due to issues with a demanding weight cut for the former Strikeforce champion.
"It was too little time to cut that much weight. I'm heavy, I always was. When I started fighting I weighed 154 pounds, and now I'm about 160 pounds without fighting. Dana already said he will just have the bantamweight division for now. I understand, there are not that many fighters in my division (145 pounds). So I'll make the effort to cut down. Who does not want to fight in the UFC?" she said.
Rousey was aware of the problems facing the Brazilian, but “Rowdy” did not spare her at last Thursday’s UFC on Fox 5 press conference, hinting again that “Cyborg” was afraid to fight her. Santos says the highly-anticipated duel is only postponed.
"She keeps saying that I'm running, but (anyone) who knows me knows that I never run from anyone. If it was up to 145 pounds, I would fight tomorrow. But it's not that way, and to cut down to 135 pounds I have to follow a plan just right. It's better for me to fight at bantamweight because the division has more fighters,” she said. “I'm looking for the right diet, the best way to lose that weight. I'll make that fight with Ronda happen. I'll give my best."
Like many of her female counterparts, Santos is thrilled that women will finally be allowed to compete in the UFC.
"It shows the state of female MMA today. It's time to take off. More fighters will now appear, even in my division," she said.
*Alan Oliveira contributed to this report