He has said many times that he thinks Rousey is a star as evident by his remarks about Rousey when he was first asked if he would bring Rousey to the UFC:
It’s no secret that I’ve been pretty honest about my feelings about Ronda Rousey. I think she’s [expletive] awesome. I think she’s mean. I think she’s nasty. And she’s a real fighter and I like watching her fight, so I think there are going to be some fun fights with Ronda. And you got Cyborg if she can move down or whatever happens there, but there are still some fun fights for Ronda and some of the other women too.
It’s no secret the the number one female fight that ALL fans want to see is Ronda Rousey vs. Cyborg Santos. Santos is the former Strikeforce featherweight (145lbs) champion who was stripped of her title due to testing positive for steroids.
Rousey used to fight in the featherweight division while Santos was the champion before dropping down to the bantamweight division. The two have had a war of words in the media with Rousey demanding that Santos drop to the bantamweight division for the opportunity to fight her. Santos claims that she can’t safely cut weight to make the bantamweight limit.
I made a proposition for the fight to happen all the way back in August.
This whole weight issue is simply both fighters trying to gain an advantage over the other. However, while at UFC 154, Dana White implied Cyborg Santos wants no part of Ronda Rousey:
Our matchmakers have talked to their camp, and she doesn’t seem too excited to fight Ronda.
Say what? It would be the biggest fight in female MMA history. I seriously do not believe that Cyborg Santos is afraid of any person male or female walking on this planet. She has destroyed everyone she has faced over the past six years with eight wins via TKO/KO. Was she on steroids the whole time? It’s certainly possible, but she was only caught once so I can’t make that judgement.
This is the thing. The UFC is obviously going to build this UFC women’s division around Ronda Rousey and Cyborg Santos is the biggest threat to dethrone her. It would be in the UFC’s best interest to force Santos to cut the weight in order to fight Rousey. She would be cutting a lot of weight coupled with not fighting for well over a year the next time she steps into the cage if Rousey is her next fight.
So White publicly saying that Santos basically doesn’t want to fight Rousey puts pressure on Santos and her camp to respond. Santos is at a disadvantage in terms of negotiations. She’ll be coming off a suspension and could be viewed as damaged goods by some female promoters.
All of the big money fights are in the bantamweight division with fighters like Rousey, Miesha Tate and potentially Sara McMann. If Santos doesn’t eventually agree to fight Rousey at bantamweight what’s her next move?