White Nixes Rousey-Cyborg Catch-Weight Bout: ‘The Champ Doesn’t Chase Other People’

By Tristen Critchfield Mar 1, 2015
Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino has long had her name tied to Rousey. | Photo: TJ De Santis/Sherdog.com

Over the weekend, both Cristiane Justino and Ronda Rousey authored dominant victories in the City of Angels.

“Cyborg” wrecked Charmaine Tweet in 46 seconds at Invicta FC 11 on Friday, while Rousey dispatched Cat Zingano in an Instagram-friendly 14-seconds at UFC 184 on Saturday. Unless Justino can make the bantamweight cut, that might be as close as the two rivals get to one another for quite some time.

At least that’s the word from UFC President Dana White, who dismissed any notion of a Rousey-Cyborg catch-weight bout taking place in the Octagon.

“Why would the champ go there? It just doesn’t make sense,” White said at Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “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 has vacillated between a willingness to try and make the cut to bantamweight and attempting to bait Rousey into a matchup at 140 pounds. A planned move to 135 pounds for an Invicta bout in December fell through due to a foot injury, and when pressed on the matter, the Brazilian often cites health concerns regarding such a move.

She has far fewer qualms about fighting at a catch-weight, but neither the UFC nor Rousey seems to be willing to compromise -- and White’s stance was hardly softening in the aftermath of “Rowdy’s” latest triumph.

“The thing with Cyborg is making that weight. I just don’t know if she can make the weight,” White said. “We talked about if she could make the weight a couple times, we’d see what we could do, but she fought last night. That fight was vicious, but she is definitely not fighting the caliber of fighters that Ronda is fighting right now, and she’d have to fight at 135 pounds.”

Both White and UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta were in attendance at the Shrine Auditorium for Cyborg’s demolition of Tweet, only fueling speculation that the most anticipated fight in women’s MMA could be on the horizon.

For now, however, Hollywood beckons. Rousey, who already has roles in “The Expendables,” “The Fast and the Furious,” and “Entourage,” is planning on filming another movie before she gets back in the Octagon, although she was unable to reveal the any further details on her next project. Regardless, any looming opponent, Cyborg or otherwise, will have to wait.

“We had a deal that she was going to go do a movie after this fight,” White said. “When she’s done with her movie, we’ll talk.”


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