Ronda Rousey is the most dominant women’s champion ever in mixed martial arts. The only other fighter to come close is Cris Cyborg, who doesn’t have the lighting fast finishes Rousey does but has left a trail of bruised and battered opponents in her wake. Unfortunately, up until now the two haven’t come close to fighting yet, and for the past couple of years Ronda Rousey has set impossible conditions on the fight.
Those conditions include Cyborg cutting down to 135 pounds, a feat even the UFC has finally accepted is probably impossible after two extremely difficult weight cuts for Cris down to a 140 pound catchweight. And now UFC president Dana White is making it sound like Ronda Rousey is coming around to that reality as well.
“Ronda wants to fight her,” White said on the latest episode of UFC Unfiltered. “We’ll have to figure out at what weight to fight. But Ronda wants that fight.”
White also confirmed that Rousey would still have to cut down to reach 140 pounds, as she formerly competed between 140 and 155 pounds in judo. Her early MMA days were also contested at 145 pounds, the division Cyborg is currently the Invicta champion of.
There’s been a big push since Cyborg’s win over the weekend for the UFC to create a 145 pound division, but White still doesn’t seem convinced that’s the right move at the moment. “I don’t think so,” he said on the podcast. “I think, first of all, there aren’t enough 145-pound female fighters to start a 145-pound division. There just isn’t, you know? Cyborg is this one girl floating out there who had that type of star power. She headlined Brazil for us.”
It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation where you have to wonder if the lack of talent at 145 pounds is partially because there’s no 145 pound division in the UFC. The Olympics is full of women competing in combat sports who could never make the 135 pound limit. Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison competes at 170 pounds in judo. There’s definitely the need for a women’s ‘heavyweight’ division. Without the UFC creating one, will enough athletes try to cross over in the hopes that one will magically appear down the line?
A superfight between Rousey and Cyborg could do wonders to raise awareness for this. And whether or not it results in a 145 pound division, it’d be a hell of a fight. And for now, that’s good enough for us.