When Ronda Rousey was UFC bantamweight champion, she was adamant that for a superfight with Cristiane Justino (live odds) to occur, it would have to be on her terms.
While it’s unclear if Rousey would be willing to face “Cyborg” at a 140-pound catch-weight or above now, the Olympic judoka is apparently still interested in a fight against the feared Brazilian.
“Ronda wants to fight her,” UFC President Dana White said on the UFC “Unfiltered” podcast. “They’d have to figure out at what weight they fight. But Ronda wants to fight her.”
Rousey has been out of the limelight since losing the 135-pound title to Holly Holm at UFC 193 last November. Recently, there have been rumors that “Rowdy” has been offered a championship bout against Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 in Las Vegas on Dec. 30. For now, nothing is set in stone, and it remains a possibility that Rousey won’t come back until sometime next year.
Meanwhile, Justino has established herself as a legitimate draw in the Octagon. Her promotional debut against Leslie Smith at UFC 198 made the pay-per-view main card, and she headlined UFC Fight Night 95 in Brasilia, Brazil, against Lina Lansberg last weekend. It has been well documented that making the cut to a 140-pound catch-weight has taken its toll on “Cyborg.” However, there are no plans to create a featherweight division in the UFC.
“First of all, there aren’t enough 145-pound female fighters to start a 145-pound division,” White said. “Cyborg is one girl floating out there who has that type of star power. She headlined Brazil for us.”
The rivalry between Rousey and Justino dates back to their Strikeforce days. Even then, Rousey taunted “Cyborg” to move to 135 pounds in order to face her, despite the fact that “Rowdy” herself started out competing at 145 pounds. More recently, Justino was expected to prove she could make 135 pounds while fighting in Invicta, where she holds the 145-pound title, to set up an eventual date with Rousey. Much has changed since then, and it seems that nobody is clamoring for Justino to make a potentially dangerous cut to bantamweight. For now, “Cyborg” seems willing to fight at 140-pound catch-weight if the opponent is right.
“I never picked opponents. I always let them pick the opponents for me,” she said after dispatching Lansberg on Saturday. “Anyone in the top 10 at 135 that wants to fight at 140 [I’ll fight]. I’ll do my sacrifice, I’ll cry to make 140….And we’ll make a great fight for the fans. I think that’s what makes MMA grow.”