There was a point in time in the history of women’s MMA that a match between Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg was the talk of town. It was going to be a super fight not only because did the two women fight at different weight classes but also because they were the top two women’s MMA fighters during that period. That wasn't too long ago. But now it seems like it was eons back.
The times have changed. Cris Cyborg is now the most dominant female fighter in the UFC. Ronda Rousey has lost two fights in a row and hasn’t fought since December 2016. She got married just recently and nobody has a clue on whether she will ever fight again.
UFC President Dana White, a staunch ally of Rousey, doesn’t believe that Rowdy will fight again. White thinks that the Ronda Rousey era is over. That she should be better retired, married and having kids with now husband Travis Browne.
Rousey herself has been mum about returning to the UFC octagon. She was destroyed the last two times she fought. Her once invincible aura is now gone. Her weaknesses exposed. Her fighting limitations taken advantage of by two dominant strikers.
She may not have a motive to return. She already won it all during her time. She’s accomplished everything there was to accomplish both inside and outside the octagon. She literally put women's MMA on the map. Ronda beat every challenge there was during her title reign. Well every challenge, except Cris Cyborg.
Cyborg was dying to get a fight with Rousey. Even when both were still fighting for Strikeforce, a match between them was already being brewed. It never happened. Rousey moved down to 135, won the Strikeforce bantamweight belt and then went to the UFC.
Rise To Superstardom
Cyborg became Invicta FC featherweight queen. Rousey became the inaugural UFC women’s bantamweight champion. But because Ronda fought for the premier MMA organization, she became the bigger star. Cyborg could only watch Ronda rise to superstardom.
From a star, Rousey became an icon. She became the face of women’s MMA and the darling of the media. She was dominant. Not only did she defeat every opponent the UFC threw at her, she annihilated them in the shortest time possible.
During this period, it was Cris Cyborg who kept chasing Rousey. But while she did, Rousey kept on calling her a drug cheat in reference to a one year suspension handed to Cyborg for testing positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol in 2012.
In the eyes of the public, Ronda became the hero and Cyborg the villain. Ronda was the girl will the all-American smile and million dollar smirk. Cyborg was the drug cheat whom Joe Rogan once said had male genitals. Aside from the drug issue, Rousey always maintained that she’d only fight Cyborg at her weight class of 135 pounds. Cyborg bargained for a catchweight of 140 but Ronda never budged, hoping to lure Cyborg into a trap.
In desperation, Cyborg tried her best to make bantamweight just to get a fight with Ronda Rousey. She couldn’t and decided to remain at Invicta FC and continue with her reign as the featherweight champion. This was the beginning of the end for that dream fight.
Then it happened. Holly Holm shocked the world and defeated Ronda Rousey at UFC 194 in 2015. Ronda was so depressed from the loss that she disappeared from the public eye. It was during Ronda’s hiatus that Cyborg finally arrived in the UFC.
Cyborg fought at a catchweight of 140 pounds in her first two bouts because the UFC didn’t have a featherweight division and at time, wasn’t to keen on putting up one. Finally, the UFC opened a women’s featherweight division and Cyborg became its inaugural champion.
Rousey tried to make a comeback but she was stopped in just 48 seconds by the new UFC women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. The loss was so one-sided and deflating that everyone believed Ronda Rousey’s career was over.
Rousey once again made herself scarce from media. She was more content to being away from the limelight and living a domestic life with boyfriend Travis Browne. The two got married recently. Happily hitched,many think that a Rousey is just an announcement away from being officially retired.
And now here comes Edmond Tarverdyan, Rousey’s coach who is asking her to take one more fight- the fight that never happened- Cris Cyborg. It sounded like lunacy. For one, Rousey is no longer active. For another, she is certainly not in a point in her career where she may be mentally ready to fight again. How much more fighting Cris Cyborg?
Just a Joke Now
But then it’s not Ronda Rousey talking. It’s just her coach trying to call out Cyborg. Cris Cyborg’s reply to Tarverdyan’s statements was brilliant. Cyborg replied that if Ronda Rousey wants to fight her, she’ll agree only if they fought in the WWE.
The WWE alright. It’s not even a sport. It’s sport entertainment. And that’s what Cyborg is implying. Fighting Ronda Rousey now would be a joke. Edmond Tarverdyan is a joke. Sure, he was just asked questions and he just answered those questions. But for the sake of Ronda Rousey, if he ever cared at all for her prized pupil, he should’ve left her career where Ronda left it. Let Ronda answer those questions, if she wants to.
There is no harm done here really. Cyborg just shrugged it off as a joke and took it in stride. Ronda’s busy with her honeymoon or whatever now but imagine how she feels when she hears Edmond’s statements. Sure, Ronda will likely not want to fight again. Not especially Cris Cyborg. But putting words into her mouth isn’t fair.
Rousey is living a private life now and Tarverdyan is trying to wake up a part of her that we don’t want to see again. Maybe it’s Tarverdyan that needs attention. Or money. Ronda Rousey is made for life with what she earned during her peak. Tarverdyan declared bankruptcy.
Maybe this is just Tarverdyan’s publicity stunt. Or maybe that was just his honest answer to a clever question. Still it’s not fair to Ronda Rousey. Give her her due. Let her enjoy marital bliss. And let Cyborg dominate women's MMA. If Ronda really wanted to fight Cyborg, that would've happened a long time ago.
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