Talk about trying to steal Ronda Rousey’s thunder. Less than 24 hours before the biggest star in women’s mixed martial arts – arguably all of MMA – takes center stage at UFC 170, Invicta FC featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino (pictured) has finally agreed to shed the extra 10 pounds required to challenge Rousey for her UFC bantamweight crown.
Here is the statement Justino released to AXS TV’s “Inside MMA” on Friday:
“In reference to Ronda’s statement that I am looking for a payday so that I can retire, you’re right, I am looking for a payday to retire you like I did Gina Carano. But to show it’s not only about money, I challenge you to a fight – winner takes all. Or better yet let’s fight for FREE. ANYTIME! ANYWHERE! Ask your daddy Dana to make it happen.
My English is not that great, so sorry if I was misunderstood. I didn’t literally mean I would die if I made 135. What I meant was that my doctor recommended that I did not fight the rest of my career at 135, which is what the UFC wanted.
You have fought 154 in the Olympics and 145 in MMA. You can meet me at 140 easier than for me to go down to 135. The only reason you want the fight at 135 is because you feel that is your only chance because you hope the weight cut will affect me. You guys say I’m irrelevant, yet watch my highlights. The true MMA fans not only know me, but know I’m the best. Sad that you give the true MMA fans no recognition by saying that they don’t matter.
I’m currently training to fight at 145 on March 28 and in early May. My team has hired a medical doctor to help me make 135. I plan to challenge and win the Invicta 135 Championship in the summer and challenge you, champion to champion, for your 135 belt in December.
Now I know critics will say “I thought you said you would die if you made 135.” All I’m promising is that I will give 100 percent to try to get to 135 to make this plan happen. If I do, I will still listen to my doctor’s advice and fight no more than three times at 135: first to win the Invicta belt, the second time to kick your ass and the third time to kick your ass again so that the world can see it wasn’t luck. You can even have me tested every week up to the fight. That way you will not have an excuse after I kick your ass.”
With this statement, Justino has now jumped every hurdle UFC president Dana White and Rousey have previously thrown her way since fans started clamoring for this fantasy fight:
– Justino has agreed to drop to bantamweight.
– Justino will subject herself to more drug testing than any other MMA fighter ever has in order to prove she’s clean.
– Finally, last week, Justino parted ways with now-former manger and longtime White nemesis Tito Ortiz.
However, here are the new roadblocks that White could now possibly present:
– There is no way he would sign Justino to just a two-fight deal. The UFC typically inks athletes to four-fight contracts.
– Justino admitted in her statement that she will “try to get to 135” pounds. What if the UFC arranges the shootout, promotes the hell out of the blockbuster pay-per-view broadcast, and Justino comes in heavy – like she has in the past for a featherweight fight?
– Justino is essentially telling White what to do, and we all know how MMA’s big boss responds when that happens.
Justino is slated to fight Jorina Baars at Lion Fight 14 in March in a muay Thai bout for the title. She is then expected to defend her Invicta FC belt against Ediane Gomes in May.
After that, well, you read her statement.
Since signing Rousey in November 2012, fans have accused White of protecting her from Justino, the only woman most believe will beat his golden girl.
Your move, Dana.