You might recall that in the immediate aftermath of Ronda Rousey’s win over Sarah Kaufman last weekend, “Rowdy” called out former women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg. Unlike past Strikeforce events, Cyborg was not allowed to enter the ring and cause a full-fledged riot for our entertainment, and in fact was actually removed from her seat in the audience before the fight even started.
Why, you ask? Well, it turns out that the California State Athletic Commission has a rule declaring that any fighter under a current suspension is not allowed inside to be at a professional mixed martial arts event. Cyborg shared your current confusion while she was being removed form the audience, telling Tatame in a recent interview:
I watched all fights but on the last one, Ronda’s, a woman working on the event came to tell me I had to leave because the commission doesn’t accept suspended athletes on the shows. My manager talked to the guys at the commission and there’s really a law that says that.
I was upset for the way they treated me. They could’ve pulled me on a corner and told me, not in front of the fans. I was taking pictures and they interrupted me, saying I had to go. It was very disrespectful. I believe a champion deserves to be treated with respect. Everyone knows an athlete’s life isn’t easy, so all fighters deserve respect. When I was in Brazil I watched UFC and there was no problem.
An odd rule indeed, made all the more unusual by the fact that the commission decided to wait until the main event to inform Cyborg that she wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place, which is the equivalent of letting a homeless man wander into your dinner party uninvited and waiting until the nightcap to kick him out.
And even if she was able to make it to the hexagon, it wouldn’t really have mattered, because the chances of Rousey/Cyborg happening at 135 are about as good as Mayweather/Pacquiao:
I watched it from upstairs, standing up. I thought he (sic?) did a great job fighting, had a good performance. She’s a great athlete on her division. This is my last interview on which I’m talking about her. I’m making clear to the fans who want to see this fight that if it’s up to me and her it will never happen because I’m not dropping to her weight class and she can’t gain few pounds to fight me.
So I’m only talking about her again if I sign a contract because then it will be a fight that will actually happen. It doesn’t depend on me, it’s up to Strikeforce to decide. If they want this fight they will have to come to an agreement so that both of us are happy.
Well, Ms. Borg, it’s not that Ronda couldn’t gain the necessary weight — she fought two fights at 145 under the Strikeforce banner — it’s that she shouldn’t have to. And before some of you more jilted readers jump on me for hugging Rousey’s ovaries (although I would give my right arm to do so. ZING!), please first consider that Ronda is the champ in this scenario. Cyborg was the champ, but managed to fuck that up on her own. And as far as the weight cut is concerned, I recently listened to a pretty great discussion on the matter during a recent episode of The Co-Main Event Podcast, which I would highly recommend you all check out. And I’m not just saying that because Old Dad and Chad Dundas are running it; it is truly as entertaining as it is informative, and the listeners control a lot of the content they discuss. Plus, they have a recurring segment called “Are You Fucking Kidding Me?!”, which is always a good idea.
But anyway, when they came upon the topic of Cyborg’s weight, Dundas brought to light the fact that she had enough trouble enough making 145 in the past, to which Fowlkes responded that it might even make her look worse if she was suddenly able to make 135 on the tail end of a steroid suspension. And while there is no doubting the incredibly muscular physique that Cyborg possesses, I would have to agree with Fowlkes. Guys like Dominick Cruz, Francisco Rivera, and Roland Delorme to name a few stand at roughly the same height as Cyborg, if not taller, and are able to make the cut to 135 with ease. Does Cyborg really have that much more muscle mass than either of those gentlemen? Perhaps in the past, but that is more than likely not the case nowadays.
In either case, we need this fight to happen. The Rousey haters need to see if she can truly be defeated, and the Rousey lovers need her prove that she is truly the best fighter in WMMA history. Let’s face it, Cyborg is the last legitimate threat to Rousey in the foreseeable future, and even Dana White tweeted that the fight would be good enough for a UFC pay-per-view:
Considering White’s complete reluctance to even accept the idea of WMMA in the UFC in the past, that’s quite a statement.