If we know anything about Strikeforce female bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, it’s that she is not one to let go of a grudge. On the heels of yet another dominant armbar finish over Sarah Kaufman in August, Rousey was quick to call out the roided-up thorn in her side that the general public knows as Cris Cyborg. As it turned out, Cyborg had been removed from the building beforehand, but the table was nonetheless set for possibly the biggest fight in WMMA history. The only problem with this matchup appeared to be Cyborg’s insistence that she simply could not cut the weight necessary to challenge Rousey for her title. Rousey was also adamant about her desire to stay at 135, and the two have been locked in a stalemate ever since.
But that hasn’t stopped either party from continuing the endless war of words with one another. True to form, Rousey has lobbed significantly more verbal bombs at Cyborg as of late, mainly in regard to her past steroid use. Her most recent attacks took place on The MMA Hour:
If you can make 145 [pounds] while you’re super juiced out, you can make 135 if you’re clean.
Cyborg has never had a fair fight. If you really look at it, she’s had fights where she came in and outweighed the other girl by 12 pounds and then they still fought. This girl has a long history of cheating and using drugs, and coming in overweight, and no one’s ever put their foot down ever about it.
While Rousey has every right to criticize Cyborg’s history, to say that she’s never had a fair fight seems a bit audacious on her part. Sure, the opponents placed before Cyborg were little more than lambs being led to the killing field, lambs who stood next to no chance of beating Cyborg in this or any other dimension, but….we forgot what point we were trying to make. In any case, while we’re on the subject of audacious claims, Rousey followed up her anti-Cyborg rant by claiming that a fight with the former Strikeforce featherweight women’s champ would be “the biggest fight in MMA history.”
I think if it was done right and it was done correctly, you could have people watching that fight that have never seen a single MMA fight before. Lots of them. I think it could be the biggest MMA fight of all-time.
I’m serious. Think about it. Every MMA fan will watch, and a whole bunch of other people that aren’t even the least bit interested in MMA would watch. That’s the kind of demographic that fight could reach to that none of the men can right now.
We see what Ronda is trying to say here — with the right marketing, Cyborg/Rousey could be an amazingly successful fight — but one thing she seems to be overlooking is the marketing abilities, or lack thereof, of the promotion she currently fights under. In the hands of the UFC, sure, this fight could be groundbreaking, but as we’ve seen with the Rousey/Kaufman fight, if Strikeforce can’t push the “sex sells” angle in regards to WMMA, well, they will still push the “sex sells” angle. Add in the fact that many casual fans of the sport still have no clue who Ronda Rousey or Cris Cyborg are, and you’re setting yourself up for disappointment with claims like those.
But we get it, Rousey is just trying to hype a matchup that stands head and shoulders above any other available fight for her in terms of fan interest, and one that neither competitor has been willing to budge on. That in and of itself should give you a good indication as to the current drawing power and depth of WMMA.