I understood why the UFC released Jake Shields a couple of weeks ago while many acted as if the end of the world was upon us. He’s a fight promoter, I get it. I mean, White said that UFC 172 is the most stacked card they have ever done earlier this week.
Wait. What? Promoter speak at its finest, because UFC 172 isn’t even close to the best card on paper, ever.
However, this whole situation with current Invicta FC featherweight champion Cris Cyborg, White, and UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey just irks me. If you’ve been a MMA fan for a while, you know the story for the most part.
Cyborg became the Strikeforce women’s featherweight champion in 2009 after demolishing the face of women’s MMA at the time, Gina Carano. She was the best female fighter on the planet, and the most feared at the time. She defended the title twice before testing positive for steroids in December 2011 after a 16 second TKO win over Hiroko Yamanaka. Cyborg was stripped of her title and the win was overturned to a ‘no-contest’, and she was suspended for a year.
Also in 2011, Ronda Rousey made her pro debut as a featherweight and quickly won four fights by November that year.
Fast forward to 2013, Rousey was crowned the UFC women’s bantamweight champion after the UFC absorbed Strikeforce. Cyborg returned from her suspension to crush two opponents, and passed at least one drug test to my knowledge. Rousey and Cyborg traded verbal jabs even though Rousey had dropped down to the bantamweight division, and there is NO question that Rousey vs. Cyborg is THE women’s MMA fight that everyone wants to see. Cyborg and the UFC negotiated but obviously couldn’t reach a deal, and I’m not privy to all the behind the scenes details. However, this is what I do know, UFC President Dana White nor Ronday Rousey want no parts of Cris Cyborg. Here’s why:
- White has said that Rousey would fight anyone, anywhere, any time. Nope. She won’t fight Cyborg, or at least the UFC won’t let her fight her. Otherwise, why have all of the dismissals or excuses about Cyborg’s management team, steroids, or making weight. Just provide the opportunity.
- White has mentioned several times that Rousey would destroy boxing great Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a fight. Why talk about a fight against a MAN, but always be dismissive when it comes to a potential bout with Cyborg? A fight between Rousey and Mayweather will NEVER happen, so what’s the point in talking about it? Just make the fight the fans AND media want to see.
- White likes to mention that Cyborg took steroids. Yep, she sure did, and so did Vitor Belfort, Josh Barnett, Dennis Siver, and others that are currently on the UFC roster or no longer in the UFC. Since you claim that the UFC is “testing everyone”, it’s pretty simple to sign Cyborg and do the same with her and make this fight happen. Or at least give her a fight to see if she can make the 135 weight limit against a credible opponent to ‘earn’ the title shot. Oh wait, you say Cyborg needs to earn the shot but will let a fighter (Gina Carano) that lost her last fight AND hasn’t fought for five years come right in and fight for the title..and the champion is willing to move UP in weight to make that fight happen? But said champion would not do the same for Cyborg? *roll eyes* But she’s the new Chuck Liddell and will fight anyone? Riiiiiight.
It’s time to stop making excuses. It’s also time to stop bullying Cris Cyborg. That’s what it is. Cyborg has been nothing but respectful to White. Yet, he tries to discredit her because of the positive steroid test, or keeps going back to the she can’t make 135 pound argument. The things she has said toward Rousey have been the usual fight promotion type stuff, no personal attacks or anything of that nature. I mean I could see if she came out and said she thought White and Rousey were sleeping together or something, but that hasn’t happened either.
There are Bellator fighters that have stated they could beat UFC champions, but you don’t see White saying anything negative or derogatory about them.
The stuff that Dana White said this week regarding Cyborg being on steroids and looking like Wanderlei Silva with a dress and heels at the MMA Awards a while back was pathetic and hypocritical to the UFC Code of Conduct he expects his fighters to abide by. He has punished fighters for comments they have made about women in the past. Yet, he doesn’t believe he’s out of line with his comments about Cyborg?
He should also stop implying that Cyborg is still taking steroids, if it bothers him so much and he views her as that much of a threat to beat Rousey he should just have her tested once signed to the promotion. If Cyborg failed the test, or wouldn’t agree to the testing then he could talk and not sound like an idiot.
White says that it’s his job to put on the fights that fans what to see. This is THE women’s fight that fans want to see. Why do you think it’s a topic at every UFC press conference or media scrum? I would almost guarantee that a Rousey vs. Cyborg fight would do a 500,000 PPV buys with the right promotion. That’s a number the UFC isn’t seeing much of nowadays. If there’s a fight to be made that fans want to see, and that fight isn’t getting made for whatever reasons I’ve mentioned above. What does that tell you?
It’s time to put up or shut up for both Rousey and White when it comes to a fight with Cris Cyborg.