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Tag: Cris Cyborg

Ranking the Four Most Likely “Huge Announcement” Opponents for Ronda Rousey

As many of us noted following Ronda Rousey‘s quick win over Sara McMann at UFC 170, the women’s bantamweight division is quickly running out of viable contenders. Watching Rousey dispatch any and all opposition has been thrilling these past couple of years, sure, but it has also shown fans just how far above the skill level of her competitors “Rowdy” truly is. And unlike the middleweight division during the Silva era, the women’s bantamweight division is simply too shallow to keep feeding Rousey journey(wo)men and expecting fans to pay the price of admission.

With the division housing their quote unquote “biggest star” rapidly approaching purgatory, the UFC appears to be in dire need of a change-up. That’s where Joe Rogan steps in, as he did during an interview with KROQ’s Kevin & Bean Show (audio above) last Friday, stating that a “huge announcement” regarding Rousey’s next opponent is coming our way:

I can say no more than I’ve already said. I will tell you this, and this is a KROQ exclusive, within the next probably week or so a huge announcement will come about women’s fighting and I’ll be back in [the studio] and we’ll talk some more. It’s going to be crazy. Madness. I wish I could [talk about it now], but I would betray the confidence of my friend and employer.

Knowing Rogan as well as we do (I think Seth bumped into him at an expo one time, maybe?), this can only mean that Rousey’s next opponent is one of four people. Join us after the jump as we definitively rank those opponents in order of probability.

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The Ronda Rousey Problem: Can You Be a Great Champion Without Challengers?


(Rousey puts her game-face on before her 66-second title defense at UFC 170. / Photo by Esther Lin for MMAFighting.com)

By Adam Ackerman

Ronda Rousey is amazing. Simply amazing. The UFC women’s bantamweight champion possesses world-class Judo, and apparently some highly-effective Muay Thai as well. Her propensity for snatching and breaking arms was developed at an age before most kids can ride a bicycle without training wheels. As a competitor, she’s given us very little to criticize. The problem with Rousey is that she may quickly run out of competition. With Sara McMann bumped out of the picture, the women’s 135-pound division currently lacks athletes who can legitimately challenge Ronda’s dominance.

If Cristiane “Cris Cyborg” Justino does in fact drop to 135 and is signed to the UFC, a super-fight years in the making could take place. Cyborg is a challenge for any woman, and some men. Her athleticism, power, aggressiveness, and diverse set of skills have brought her nothing but victories for the last nine years (except for that one no-contest).  Needless to say, the former handball player turned fighter may be the biggest — and most profitable — test lurking in the future for Rousey, assuming that Cyborg ever settles her beef with Dana White.

Outside of that, there are painfully few challengers that the UFC could throw at Ronda, and call it a “competitive matchup” with a straight face.

I was beyond excited to see Rousey take on Cat Zingano, whose striking skills and power, purple belt in BJJ, and high-level wrestling background make her more than qualified to give Rousey a great fight. Watching her finish Miesha Tate toward the end of their three-round back-and-forth battle gave me confidence in her abilities to contend for the title. However, after her knee injury and the devastating loss of her husband, she has been sidelined for the time being. According to her manager Ed Soares, however, she could be ready to step back into the cage “as early as June.”

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UFC 170 Results: Here’s Why the Controversy Around Ronda Rousey’s Win Is Great


(Photo via Getty)

By Matt Saccaro

Ronda Rousey kneed Sara McMann into oblivion in a minute…or at least Herb Dean thought McMann had been kneed into oblivion. MMA fans were split about that part. Some thought the stoppage was deserved—McMann stopped intelligently defending herself when she crumpled to the mat clutching her sides. Others disagreed, citing the fact that McMann managed to rise to her feet immediately after Dean called off the bout (an intrepid Wikipedia vandal belonged to this school of thought).

The irritating ruckus that follows any disputed stoppage polluted Twitter and message boards before Rousey’s hand was even raised. MMA fans were (and still are) pissed.

And that’s fantastic.

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Superfight Alert: Cris Cyborg Planning to Drop to 135 Pounds, Wants to “Retire” Rousey


(via AXS TV Fights)

After ages of posturing and Tito Ortiz-inspired idiocy, Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino has finally decided to drop to 135 pounds, with the goal of retiring UFC women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey like she did to Strikeforce star Gina Carano in 2009.

Justino made the announcement on Inside MMA this past Friday. Here is her statement in full:

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Six Massive UFC Fights That Could Actually Happen in 2014


(Meanwhile, Alex’s friends were parked outside with a giant magnet. / Photo via Getty)

By Nasir Jabbar

With Georges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva, and Cain Velasquez all currently out of action due to injuries or bitter hiatuses, UFC executives will be scratching their heads trying to come up with marquee fights in 2014. But amidst this gloom, there are a few massive fights that could still happen. Some are more realistic than others, but if the stars align, these matchups would no doubt fill the void. Let’s run them down in order of probability…

Major fights within reach

Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson 2 or Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier: Very few gave Gustafsson the chance to last twenty-five minutes with the champ, let alone nearly dethrone him. The two engaged in a thrilling yet technical battle at UFC 165, which was as entertaining as it was controversial — making a rematch very interesting and potentially lucrative for the UFC. Prior to his first meeting with the Mauler, Jones had dominated every one of his opponents, which led to the New Yorker searching for his “Frazier”, the worthy rival who would define his legacy. Gustafsson could very much play that role as they look to meet again.

On the other hand, Daniel Cormier could play that role just as well. Unlike Gustafsson, Cormier has a genuine dislike towards Jones which would only add hype towards the fight. But, of course, the two potential challengers would have to get by Jimi Manuwa and Rashad Evans, respectively, to get their title shots. And of course there’s a hard-hitting Brazilian named Glover Teixeira who might derail these plans altogether.

Jose Aldo vs. BJ Penn: Incredibly, Penn is looking to become a three-weight world champion as he embarks on his unexpected new life as a featherweight. Before his year-long break from the sport, Penn had been fighting at welterweight without much success. (He hasn’t won a match since his quick knockout of Matt Hughes back in November 2010.) Penn will make his 145-pound debut against old rival Frankie Edgar as he looks to avenge, not one, but two defeats. Even though there is a connection between Penn and Aldo’s head coach Andre Pederneiras, the Prodigy would surely jump at the chance to compete for a belt.

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The Top 24 Mixed Martial Artists Who Lost Their First Fight


(Renan Barao: Started from the bottom, now he here. / Photo via Getty)

By Adam Martin

At the UFC 165 post-fight presser last month, UFC president Dana White showered praise upon UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao, calling him one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport and remarking that the media hadn’t given enough credit to his eight-year, 32-fight undefeated streak, which has remained pristine since May 2005.

Barao has only tasted defeat once, and it was in the first fight of his career. The fact that he’s rebounded with the longest current undefeated streak in mixed martial arts — despite the fact that his first loss could have ruined his confidence forever — is absolutely amazing to me, as many young would-be prospects have crashed and burned in their debuts, never to be heard of again.

It got me thinking: What other mixed martial artists lost their first fight but then went on to have great success? I expected to bang out a list of ten fighters, but once I started doing the research, it blew my mind that some of the best fighters to ever compete in the sport, and a number of currently top 10-ranked fighters, actually lost their very first fight.

And so, I compiled a list of the top 24 MMA fighters of all time who lost their first fight. The list is based on accomplishments in the sport, overall skill level, and potential. Enjoy, and if I somehow missed somebody notable, please leave a comment below and explain why he or she should be included.

Honorable mentions: Matt “The Wizard” Hume (5-5), Wesley “Cabbage” Correira (20-15), Ryan “The Big Deal” Jimmo (18-2), Rodrigo Damm (11-6), James Te Huna (16-6)

24. Travis “The Ironman” Fulton (249-49-10, 1 NC)

(Photo via ThunderPromotions)

On July 26, 1996, at the age of 19 years old, Travis Fulton fought Dave Strasser in his MMA debut at Gladiators 1 in Davenport, Iowa, losing the fight via first-round submission. He then went on to win 249 fights, the most wins in mixed martial arts history. Fulton also holds the record for most fights (309) and most knockout wins (91) in MMA history.

Mind = blown.

Was Fulton a can crusher? Yes, yes he was. Or, should I say, yes he is, as he beat some nobody in his native Iowa just this past March. But you don’t win 249 MMA fights by accident, and Fulton deserves a place on this list based on volume alone.

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Women in the UFC: Looking Back at the First Six Months, And What It Means for the Future


(Is the women’s bantamweight division still reliant on the star power of its champion? / Photo via Getty)

By Adam Martin

For years, UFC president Dana White was firmly against bringing women into the Octagon to fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

In 2011, just two years ago, White told TMZ that women would “never” fight for his promotion. And yet now, in 2013, there are 15 women signed to a Zuffa contract and the UFC women’s bantamweight division is quickly becoming one of the promotion’s most crowd-pleasing weight classes.

So what changed?

The answer is simple: Ronda Rousey emerged as a superstar, and it’s Rousey that has singlehandedly brought women’s MMA into the mainstream — although White must be praised for giving her and other female fighters the platform to perform.

Now I really hate admitting this is the case, because I have been a fan of women’s fights ever since the HOOKnSHOOT days and I want to believe it was all of the women in sum putting on great fights that changed White’s mind, but it’s not a coincidence that White’s softened stance on allowing females to compete in the UFC coincided with Rousey’s unbeaten run to the top of the sport.

White, who is one of the smartest promoters in all of combat sports, was quick to realize Rousey could be a draw based on her good looks and vicious fighting style, and therefore make his company a lot of money, and the decision was made to bring her along with some other notable 135-pound females into the UFC earlier this year as a test drive of sorts.

And so far, the ride has been nothing but smooth.

UFC 157, which took place in February, featured not only the first women’s fight in UFC history but it was also the first UFC event to be headlined by two female fighters (Rousey and Liz Carmouche), and yet it did 450,000 PPV buys and a $1.35-million U.S. gate despite having a poor undercard. To the UFC, those numbers were a huge success and a slew of ladies were quickly signed by White and Co., who realized the fans loved Rousey vs. Carmouche and that they’d probably enjoy watching even more women fight.

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Friday Link Dump: Return of the Fedor-Sweater, Brian Bowles Suspended Nine Months, The 25 Greatest WWE Trash-Talkers + More


(“Flip Kick Knock Out: Girl Edition,” via Break.com)

The allure of the Fedor-sweater has not diminished… (Facebook.com/CagePotato)

Nevada Commission Suspends Brian Bowles 9 Months for Failed UFC 160 Drug Test (Sherdog)

Dana White Expresses Interest in Signing Bellator Champ Ben Askren (MMAFighting)

Invicta FC Champ Cris ‘Cyborg’ Books Muay Thai Bout at Lion Fight 11 (MMAJunkie)

UFC and Dana White Seem to Prefer Blissful Ignorance on PED Use in the Sport (BloodyElbow)

Behind The Scenes Photos From Brittney Palmer’s 2014 Calendar Shoot (TerezOwens)

The 25 Greatest Trash Talkers in WWE History (Complex)

What Women Really Think About Your Dating Profile (MadeMan)

Gathering of the Juggalos Tour Diary: Day 1 (FilmDrunk)
Gathering of the Juggalos Tour Diary: Day 2 (FilmDrunk)

The Screen Junkies Show: Hottest Animated Characters (ScreenJunkies)

20 Honest Website Slogans (WorldwideInterweb)

Seven Bad Habits That Could Actually Make You Healthier (MensFitness)

What Happens When You Drive Full Speed Into a Parking Lot? (EgoTV)

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MMA Alternate History: What if Gina Carano Beat Cris Cyborg in 2009?


(Photo via MMAWeekly)

By Matt Saccaro

There are points in MMA history that if one punch is ducked, one kick is thrown, one submission is secured, the entire fate of the sport changes.

Numerous fights hold the distinction of being important enough that history hung in the balance while the combatants tried to incapacitate one another, but one that doesn’t get much attention in the discussion of Griffin/Bonnar-level important fights is Gina Carano vs. Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos (or now Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino. Whatever, we’re just gonna call her Cyborg). Yeah, most people recognize its importance as the first BIG fight in WMMA history, but their appreciation for it doesn’t extend past that. And, historically, it shouldn’t. The fight was a big deal but it lead to nothing good. It sent the most recognized fighter in WMMA away from the sport forever. Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, and others had to pick up the mantle that Gina Carano ran away from.

But, for a moment, let us pretend that the result of Carano vs. Cyborg was reversed. That’s what the second installment of CagePotato’s Alternate History series is based on: The fallout of Gina Carano hypothetically defeating Cyborg in Strikeforce.

What Would’ve Happened if Gina Carano Defeated Cyborg in 2009?

Before we get into counterfactuals, let’s briefly discuss what happened historically.

EliteXC (gee it fields weird to type that name again) had a burgeoning women’s division, no doubt to say “Hey, we have something the UFC doesn’t” and to draw attention away from the fact that their male roster wasn’t as loaded as the UFC’s. Not an issue though, because the women were awesome. Two specific ones were more awesome than most: Carano and Cyborg.

Carano was the most marketable female fighter at the time because she’s fucking gorgeous — and not just “fighter” hot, but seriously attractive. She could fight pretty damn well, too. Pushing Carano was therefore a no-brainer.

Cyborg isn’t conventionally attractive but she’s gifted at inflicting violence. Legitimate talent combined with an affinity for smashing fighters in a crowd-pleasing way is easy to promote.

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Report: ‘Cris Cyborg’ To Compete in Two Muay Thai Fights in One Night, Because She’s Just That Nasty


(Photo via Esther Lin/Invicta FC)

It hasn’t even been two weeks since Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino fought and won in MMA against Marloes Coenen at Invicta FC 6, but the new featherweight champion has booked not one but two Muay Thai fights for herself on August 25th in Thailand. “Cyborg will take on France’s top kickboxer Angelique Pitiot and Italy’s Annalisa Bucci, with one taking three rounds and the other two rounds,” Wombat Sports reports.

“Cyborg” represents the famed Brazilian Chute Boxe team, which has Muay Thai as its base, but according to the report, the fighter has never previously been to the kickboxing style’s motherland of Thailand. While many fighters travel to exotic locations in the weeks after fights for vacation, Justino is going to Thailand to fight two women back-to-back just because she can.

Say what you will about her questionable Tito Ortiz-driven decision of turning down a contract with the UFC, but this lady isn’t afraid to fight for her money, that’s for sure. We don’t know much about her two scheduled opponents but considering the fact that five rounds of shadow-boxing — much less actual fighting — gets us winded, we’re quite impressed with Cyborg’s latest goal.

Oh yeah, Kim Couture is also on the card, fighting Thai fighter Petchrocha Looksaikongdin. First off, we didn’t realize that “Sugar Free” (ugh) was still competing. Secondly, fighting someone with that many syllables in their name, in their own backyard, doesn’t seem like a great idea for Kim, who is no stranger to unfortunate beat-downs.

After the jump: Cris Cyborg destroys some broad named Edna in a Muay Thai rules bout back in 2006.

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