On Feb. 23, Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche will become a part of mixed martial arts history, as the first women to step inside the number one testing ground in MMA, the UFC’s Octagon.
The bantamweight title fight between the two will headline the UFC 157 fight card at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Given how dominant Rousey has been in her short MMA career, defeating all of her opponents via armbar in the first round, she has definitely earned the right to don the UFC’s women’s bantamweight title.
However, in order for her to cement her status as the baddest woman in the MMA, she’ll eventually need to square up against former Strikeforce women’s featherweight champion, Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos.
UFC president Dana White recently said he didn’t think Cyborg wanted any part of Rousey during a recent appearance on UFC tonight. But Cyborg explained her position via Instagram, vehemently stating her desire to face Rousey.
“I am not afraid of Rhonda!” Santos wrote. “I will fight her anywhere and anytime for free – everyone knows I barely make 145- but I am willing to sacrifice and meet her half way at 140- I can’t believe dana says I want nothing to do with Rhonda- what he wants me to do is fight Rhonda with both my hands tied behind my back or comatosed-so that she can have a chance-which is what making me fight at 135 is- to finally shut everyone up – i will fight Rhonda with one hand tied behind my Back at 140lb and still kick her ass and prove that I’m the real champ not her- and let the winner take ALL come on rhonda step up bitch!”
While it easy to understand Santos’ frustration with the fact the UFC wants her to drop down to 135 pounds to face Ronda, she really doesn’t have much of a choice.
Cyborg — who ended the reign of the first female face of MMA, Gina Carano — was once considered the best female mixed martial artist in world, but she lost some of her mystique when she tested positive for steroids (stanozolol) after her 16-second destruction of Hiroko Yamanaka in 2011. Santos was subsequently stripped of the Strikeforce featherweight title and issued a one-year suspension.
While Cyborg was serving her suspension, Rousey was busy winning MMA fans over to her side, taking the Strikeforce bantamweight title from Miesha Tate and successfully defending it against Sarah Kaufman. At this point, it’s clear Rousey is the new face of women’s MMA, and she’s the one who’ll get to dictate the terms of a potential fight between the two.
Given the fact bad blood between Rousey and Cyborg, it’s obvious “Rowdy” will force the Brazilian to drop down to 135 pounds, if she wants to prove she’s still the best female MMA fighter in the world. If Santos is serious about fighting Ronda, she needs to start figuring out the best way to get down to 135 pounds.