There’s been a healthy amount of back-and-forth concerning Invicta FC featherweight champ Cris “Cyborg” Justino’s long-proposed move down to bantamweight for an anticipated showdown with UFC champ Ronda Rousey.
It still seemed like a distant possibility earlier this year when she allegedly weighed 175 pounds in the cage for her 46-second title defense against Charmaine Tweet in the main event of February 27’s Invicta FC 11, but that doesn’t mean the UFC isn’t holding out hope.
News came this week that Cyborg had indeed been signed by the UFC’s parent company Zuffa, who supposedly want Cyborg to make 135 pounds in Invicta before she faces off with Rousey in the Octagon.
And apparently she’s going to try, as UFC President Dana White told Toronto’s CP24 (via MMAJunkie.com) that Cyborg is again considering cutting to bantamweight, and if she does, that’s obviously when the bout with Rousey will come to fruition:
“For her next fight, she’s going to try to make 135 pounds. If she successfully makes that weight and wins, then yeah, she can come in and fight Ronda.”
After her win over Tweet, Cyborg was slated to defend her 145-pound title one more time at Invicta FC 13 on July 10, but now that date could potentially feature her attempted drop to 135 pounds.
Her rivalry with Rousey dates back years now, and the two recently took their trash talk to a new level after their latest wins. At the end of the day, the only thing holding this fight, which would certainly be the biggest in the history of WMMA by far, back from happening is Cyborg’s inability to meet the champion at her usual home.
Cyborg hired famed nutritionist George Lockhart to conceivably help her with that lofty goal, which isn’t going to be anything close to easy for the hulking Brazilian knockout artist. But the payoff will undoubtedly be worth the effort, putting the onus of making the fight happen completely on Cyborg’s shoulders.
It’s going to take some time. Rousey is scheduled to face another outspoken Brazilian in undefeated contender Bethe Correia at August 1’s UFC 190, giving Cyborg several months to drop the weight necessary to fight ‘Rowdy.’
It’s become painfully obvious that this is a fight that simply has to happen, and the MMA world will be hopefully waiting that it does. But with it talked about for years and never having materialized, perhaps fans should temper their expectations a bit, at least for the time being.