While posturing between Ronda Rousey and Cristiane Justino continues to play out in the media, Tito Ortiz says the UFC has already offered “Cyborg” a fight against the reigning bantamweight queen.
Ortiz, who previously managed Justino, still calls the Brazilian a “very close friend” and also serves as her wrestling coach. As a result, he has apparently had some interesting conversations with the former Strikeforce champion regarding the potential matchup with Rousey.
“I’ve heard from Cris [Justino] actually that the fight that’s supposed to be happening at the Cowboys arena… they offered the fight to Cris,” Ortiz told ”Inside MMA” on Friday [Cyborg talk starts at 7:30]. “I know her management said yes and I’ve told her, ‘Let’s do it.’ So I guess the ball’s all in Ronda’s corner and Ronda wants to do it. [UFC President Dana White] said if Cris came down to 135 they’ll make the fight happen, so let’s see if Ronda accepts the fight.”
White recently broached the subject of a card at Dallas Cowboys stadium during the UFC 190 post-fight press conference. In the aftermath of Rousey’s thrashing of Bethe Correia in Rio de Janeiro, the UFC boss said the promotion would like to put Rousey – along with a featherweight title clash between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor -- on a card at the Arlington, Texas, venue -- officially known as AT&T Stadium -- in December. The event would likely be UFC 194 and take place on Dec. 5.
“I’d like to put [Rousey] on that card,” White said. “And that card is probably going to be in Dallas Texas Stadium.”
Ortiz’s comments regarding Justino would seem to contradict the promotion’s immediate plans for the division, however, as Miesha Tate appears to be next in line to face Rousey following her triumph over Jessica Eye at UFC on Fox 16. Meanwhile, making the bantamweight limit remains Justino’s most significant hurdle. While she has suggested that Rousey meet her at a 140-pound catch-weight, the Olympic judoka has been adamant that Cyborg face the champion on her terms -- and that means at 135 pounds.
Ortiz, for one, seems confident that Justino can make the cut.
“Will she make 135? Yes,” Ortiz said. “Before I had doubts of it. I’ve talked to her over the last couple months, and she’s like, ‘I have to make the weight.’”
Justino, the Invicta FC featherweight champion, last competed for the all-female promotion on July 9, when she ran through Faith Van Duin in just 45 seconds. Previously, White said that she would need to prove she could make 135 pounds in Invicta before entering the UFC, but it is unclear if that stipulation is still in place.
“I would be literally cutting weight right now and champing at the bit to fight Ronda if I was Cyborg,” White said following UFC 190. “That fight is ready to roll whenever Cyborg is ready.”