Bad blood & perfect timing could create the biggest fight of all time in women’s MMA. Ronda Rousey and Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino need to fight but what will be the UFC odds if it ever happens?
Beauty and the Beast
The UFC’s Ronda Rousey is getting all the press, the endorsements, movie offers and adulation while Cyborg dwells in the Invicta FC stable without a scintilla of the fanfare reserved for the UFC’s golden girl. Rousey has not just broken through to the mainstream but has skyrocketed to fame, and what we can only assume to be fortune, as Cyborg is feted only by the fan base that follows the strictly women’s MMA organization.
There is no doubt an organic rivalry is brewing between the two superstars but Cyborg understands that Rousey’s star shines far higher and brighter than even hers. While Rousey morphs effortlessly from her workout gear to glamour gowns, Cyborg is imprinted as this brutish Amazonian warrior with the jacked bod that makes you think Conor McGregor without the beard. There are no red carpets or fabulous photo shoots for Cyborg. She is a terror in the Invicta FC featherweight division and you would swear in between fights she is taken to an underground lair somewhere to get retrofitted and retooled to wreak more havoc and inflict more pain than ever before.
The undefeated Ronda Rousey has blazed a trail that no modern day combat warrior has equaled. She is not only undefeated but has finished every one of her opponents with only one lasting beyond the first round and eight of the twelve being knocked out or submitted within a minute of the opening bell. In her last fight she annihilated undefeated Bethe Correia in just 34 seconds. When asked about a proposed match between her and the 14-1 Cyborg she had this to say,
“I fight in UFC’s 135-pound division. She can fight at 145 pumped full of steroids or she can make the weight just like everybody else without them."
Gasoline meet fire. Yes, Cyborg did test positive for stanozolol after shredding Japanese sensation Hiroko Yamanaka in only 16 seconds ala Ronda Rousey. That fight was declared a no contest but that stain has followed her like a bad itch despite the fact she has passed every drug test since. Cyborg has threatened legal action over the comments but MMA fans would prefer the feud be settled inside the Octagon rather than inside a courtroom.
However the primary obstacle between the two femme fatales locking horns is weight. Women are always arguing over weight and this is no different. Rousey reigns supreme at 135 pounds and Cyborg rules with an iron fist at 145. Because the UFC and Invicta FC have a strategic relationship getting the fighters together would not present a problem but getting the fighters to agree at which weigh to meet is a task that is seemingly insurmountable. Solomonic wisdom insists that the fight take place at a catchweight of 140 pounds but so far neither has agreed to budge and the UFC’s head shot caller Dana White has publically backed Rousey’s position that the fight must be at the bantamweight class.
Including Ronda Rousey in your UFC picks has been virtually impossible unless you want to bet the rent in order to get back the cost of a utility bill. Rousey’s UFC odds soared to as high as -2000 against Correia but came back down to earth at a still intolerable -1400. In her second fight against Meisha Tate, the only woman to last beyond one round, Rousey was installed as a -650 favorite and ultimately rewarded her backers with a third round submission.
But if Rousey were to fight Cyborg one bold and adventurous sportsbook is already hanging UFC odds on this one but the fight must occur before August 1st, 2016. The Golden Nugget, the pride of downtown Las Vegas, is hanging Rousey at -300 with a return of +250 on Cyborg. If this fight happens there could be well over 2 ½ million PPV buys and women’s MMA would be on the map to stay. Ronda Rousey at -300? Looks mighty fine to me.