The hope of a Ronda Rousey vs. Cristiane “Cris Cyborg” Santos superfight in the UFC may have just gone up in smoke, for good this time. According to Cyborg’s manager — a bespectacled fellow by the name of Tito “
The Brain“ Ortiz — the formerly-feared Brazilian striker has officially refused to drop to 135 pounds to compete in the Octagon, and she’ll now be seeking opportunities elsewhere. Here’s what Ortiz had to say last night on Inside MMA:
Right now, we’re actually waiting for [the] UFC to release [Cyborg]. We asked for them to release her, so Dana White actually talked to me yesterday. They gave an offer, I went to Cyborg and she said she didn’t want to do it—and we just asked for her release.
Since [the UFC] isn’t doing a 145-pound weight class, what else can they do? Now, she’s going to be released. Maybe we’ll go look somewhere else and you can see Cyborg crush another woman’s face in.
As Ortiz tells it, Cyborg was willing to drop to 140 to meet Rousey at a catchweight — though not until her fourth fight in the UFC for some reason — but cutting an additional five pounds would be physically impossible for Cyborg, and the UFC didn’t want to budge on the point. (Women carry less water-weight, and can’t cut as much weight as men, Dr. Ortiz explained.) Now, the only female MMA superfight available isn’t happening, which is also a serious blow for the future of women’s MMA in the UFC. How long will fans care about a division that only features one star?
Thus far, we’ve generally sided with Rousey in her weight dispute with Cyborg. After all, Cyborg is the one coming back from a drug suspension, and has no authority to make demands on the champion, who happens to be the only reason that the UFC has a female division. But should the UFC have tried harder to make sure this match came together? Sure, 140 pounds is not a real weight class. But Rousey vs. Cyborg is a real fight.