Ronda Rousey and Cyborg Santos have been lighting up the airwaves of MMA radio and the front pages of MMA websites for the past few days since Rousey defended her Strikeforce bantamweight title against Sarah Kaufman on Saturday night. You can get caught up on all the back and forth between both fighters right here. I can certainly understand both sides here. Here are the stances in a nutshell:
- Ronda Rousey’s camp want random drug testing once the contract for the fight is signed
- Rousey’s camp wants the fight at 135 pounds
- Rousey’s camp wants Cyborg’s first fight back after the long layoff to be against Rousey
- Cyborg Santos wants the fight at 145 pounds
I have no problem with any of the stipulations from Rousey’s camp. She’s the champion and we certainly want fighters to be drug free and not allowing Cyborg to have a ‘warm up’ fight after the long layoff makes plenty of sense. Also, forcing Cyborg to try and cut to 135 pounds would certainly be to her advantage. All three stipulations would help increase Rousey’s chances of winning the bout, not that she couldn’t otherwise, but it certainly gives her an advantage.
Cyborg Santos has never fought below 145 pounds to my knowledge and she says as much in the article linked above, so this is where things get tricky. Cyborg has been adamant that she can’t cut to 145 pounds. We have no way of proving if she can or if she can’t, we can only speculate what we think. Let’s take a look at this scenario:
Cyborg Santos agrees to take the fight at 135 pounds. She goes through training camp and somehow someway she makes 135 pounds, but the cut is extremely tough and her along with her camp determine it’s a one time thing. She then proceeds to go out and beat Ronda Rousey and wins the 135 pound title. Then Strikeforce would be stuck with a 135 pound champ that doesn’t want to fight at 135 pounds anymore, as this drop in weight would be a one time thing since Cyborg has always fought at 145 pounds.
Who said a title HAD to be on the line for this fight to happen?
There’s no question that this is a super-fight, and a real grudge match that’s been building for quite some time. A title being on the line is icing on the cake, but it isn’t needed to sell this fight. Let’s say that Cyborg Santos agrees to take the fight at 135 pounds, but then misses weight the day before the fight. Do you think Rousey’s going to call the fight off at that point? No. How many times have we seen fighters miss weight, and their opponents still agree to do the fight? All the time. How many times have we seen it happen in main event fights?
All the time. The bout would then be a non-title three round pound just like a catch-weight bout.
A fight with Cyborg Santos would easily be the biggest fight in women’s MMA history. It’s the fight that fans want to see and a win over Cyborg Santos would launch Rousey’s starpower higher than any other women’s fighter out there. I have no problem with Rousey’s stipulations, but if she REALLY wants this fight to happen she’ll at least agree to a catch-weight of 140 pounds in a non-title bout. It’s a win-win deal for her at that point as she’ll still get to keep the 135 pound title should she lose, and if she wins she can lay claim to the best female fighter on the planet without question.