“Cyborg” Announces Drop To Bantamweight, Issues Open Challenge To Ronda Rousey

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UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will look for her third consecutive title defense when she squares off with undefeated challenger Sara McMann in the main event of tomorrow night’s UFC 170 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

However, with McMann largely preferring to let her skills do her talking, it’s an enemy of a much different kind that’s making all the noise on the eve of what may be Rousey’s toughest test.

That nemesis is none other than Invicta FC Featherweight champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino, who has long been rumored to be face Rousey in the most hyped women’s MMA bout of all time.

Justino recently cleared a big hurdle to making that happen when her former manager Tito Ortiz stepped down, citing a desire to prevent his tumultuous relationship with UFC President Dana White from holding “Cyborg” back.

And now, she’s made it official.

News broke tonight that “Cyborg” will be making the cut down to bantamweight in order to face Rousey. She had some harsh words for “Rowdy” in a statement released to AXS TV’s “Inside MMA”:

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“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.”

Wow. That didn’t take much time for “Cyborg” to come calling for Rousey’s head. Apparently Ortiz was the major roadblock holding Justino back from making the move to the UFC.

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No news has been announced from the UFC as of yet, but you can bet UFC President Dana White is more than a bit excited at this development. “Cyborg” did previously state that cutting down to 135 pounds would be hazardous to her health and her ability to have a child, but it appears that the risk is now worth it.

Rousey vs. “Cyborg” would be undoubtedly huge, perhaps the highest grossing pay-per-view event of the year.

Of course, there are a lot of hoops to jump through in order to make this happen. Rousey has to get by McMann first tomorrow night, and “Cyborg” will be met with intense scrutiny surrounding her suspension for PEDs in early 2012.

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However, Justino is thought to be the only woman with the pure striking power to give Rousey a run for her money. Is it just a matter of time before “Cyborg” signs with the UFC?