For what it’s worth, UFC president Dana White stated Wednesday that Ronda Rousey will “definitely” fight Cris “Cyborg” Justino (pictured) if she beats bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 207.
“I know that Cyborg wants that fight. Ronda wants that fight, too. So, Ronda’s plan right now is to come back and try to win her title back, and if that happens the Cyborg fight will definitely happen,” White said on Fox Sports 1’s “The Herd.”
Rousey vs. Cyborg was the most box office bout the UFC could have arranged until Rousey was annihilated by Holly Holm last November for her belt. Prior to watching his golden girl get knocked out in highlight reel fashion, White predicted the fantasy fight would set a UFC pay-per-view record with two million buys.
That was then. The now pits the same dominant Justino against a Rousey that is picking up the pieces of a once-untouchable aura of invincibility that Holm shattered 11 months ago.
Three major questions need to be answered before this long awaited showdown can go down: Can Rousey bounce back from the only loss of her MMA career, one that sent her into a deep state of depression? Even if Rousey returns to form, is it good enough to beat Nunes? Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, at what weight would the fight take place?
White, Rousey and Justino have been talking about arranging the matchup for years, but the biggest roadblock was that Rousey refused to compete at any weight class other than the one she was dominating. White backed – some claim protected – his cash cow by claiming it wouldn’t make sense for Rousey to fight Justino anywhere but bantamweight since she was the champion.
Justino, the reigning Invicta FC featherweight champ, was able to make weight for both of her 140-pound catchweight bouts in the UFC, but it was far from easy. Cutting another five pounds to make the 135 pound max for a bantamweight title tilt might not sound like much, but for a woman who has very little body fat on a chiseled frame, it might be impossible.
It’s understandable that Rousey wants to reclaim her bantamweight throne, especially since three different women have hoisted the hardware since Rousey last touched it, but why must she have that belt back in order to make the Justino fight happen? Is it so she can once again dictate the terms of the fight and hide behind forcing Justino to try and make 135 pounds?
Let’s hope not, because after watching what Justino had to go through in order to just make 140 pounds, there’s just no way she could shed another five pounds off her buff body.