Invicta FC featherweight champ Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino is rapidly becoming one of the most recognizable names in the UFC after finally making her Octagon debut with two stoppages over Leslie Smith and Lina Lansberg this year.
Those two wins arguably put her in line for her long-rumored super fight with returning former women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, but ‘Rowdy’ was instead booked to face current UFC women’s 135-pound champ Amanda Nunes in the main event of December 30’s UFC 207 from Las Vegas. Cyborg was understandably furious when the news was announced, posting a seething response on social media and still campaigning for the bout in very hard-charging fashion.
Justino believes she is owed the fight because of her impressive body of work, but while she may deserve a fight with Rousey, there are several mitigating factors that would strongly argue she certainly isn’t owed the oft-discussed super fight – even if it may just be the biggest MMA fight of all time if and when it does happen.
Let’s break down six of the main factors why Cyborg should forget about fighting Rousey – at least for now:
6.) The Weight Class Remains A Big Issue:
While many believe Rousey should simply meet Cyborg at a catchweight of 140 pounds to stop ‘ducking’ her, the reality is that even making 140 pounds is an extremely taxing prospect for Justino that’s undoubtedly threatening to her long-term health.
She’s fought at 145 pounds for the vast majority of her mixed martial arts career, and at times, struggled to even make that division’s limit while walking around at upwards of 175 pounds. Cyborg definitely rehydrates well and shows up to the cage several pounds heavier than the class limit, perhaps a big reason why many top 135-pound women have been hesitant to fight her.
Rousey and the UFC know this, and it’s not all that tough to understand why they would want ‘Rowdy’ to return to a title fight against the current 135-pound champ rather than one against a nearly unstoppable bulldozer who is much bigger than her. It’s completely fine that Cyborg wants to hold a significant size advantage over her opponents, and it would probably take at least a year if not more to lose the muscle necessary to meet them at 135 pounds. She’s not willing to do that, however.
That means she can’t expect fighters to meet her demands so she can be much larger than them when fight time is here.