Cris “Cyborg” (aka Cristiane Justino Venancio) took a couple of surprisingly low-key jabs at Ronda Rousey following the UFC bantamweight champion’s brutal knockout loss to unbeaten Holly Holm at UFC 193.
“Surprising,” because, given the bad blood that exists between Rousey and Cris Cyborg, one might have expected a lot more gloating.
To date, Justino has kept things as classy as possible, tweeting congratulations to Holly Holm and a simple smiley face as soon as the knockout happened.
— Cris Cyborg (@criscyborg) November 15, 2015
Also, on her Facebook page, linked below, she reposted an image of the kick that knocked Rousey’s lights out with a second simple message of congratulations for the new champ.
Considering that Ronda Rousey has repeatedly referred to Cris Cyborg as a steroid abuser in spite of the fact that she hasn’t tested positive for illegal substances since getting caught for the use of stanozolol in early 2012, it could have been much worse.
Also, Rousey has frequently made light of Justino’s looks and refused to fight her at a catchweight of 140 pounds, noting that Justino “needs me a lot more than I need her.”
Well, Saturday night (November 14) changed all of that.
While Dana White and Holly Holm both think that a rematch makes all the sense in the world without Ronda having to fight her way back up, there is a growing throng of fans, who believe that Ronda should only get another shot at the title if she first proves herself against Cyborg.
There really aren’t many options for Rousey at this point. If she gets beaten again by Holm — and going by last night’s lopsided victory, there’s no reason to think that she wouldn’t — it’s hard to imagine anyone paying to see a fight against anyone other than Cris Cyborg.
After all, Rousey has already dispatched Miesha Tate twice in convincing fashion, so there isn’t much interest in a third fight.
While buy rates would likely be high for Holm-Rousey II, the outcome would likely do Rousey no favors. Therefore, the only thing left for her at this point is a grudge match at 140, and Cyborg finally has the power to demand it.
In fact, that’s exactly what she and her manager, George Prajin, are gunning for.
“No doubt who is the baddest on the planet,” Prajin said in comments to MMAjunkie after the fight. “There is no belt on the line — let’s do 140. She has nothing to hide behind now.”
How Ronda responds to this — once she gets out of the hospital and begins recovery, CBS Sports notes — will ultimately determine if she’s been running scared this whole time.
She certainly cannot say the 14-1 Cris Cyborg needs her more than she needs Cyborg anymore.
Cyborg has shown no signs of weakness in any of her dominant wins. Her sole loss came early in her career and was due to a careless mistake for which she was submitted.
Since Justino has improved her MMA skill sets, she has looked every bit as unbeatable as Rousey — or, at least, as Rousey did until last night.
Now it’s a matter of honor.
Ronda Rousey needs Cris Cyborg more than Cyborg needs her. Simply winning a rematch against Holm won’t do it, because Holm was a massive underdog going into the UFC 193 fight.
If Rousey regains her title, the only thing she’s done, in the eyes of most, is “right” a “wrong” that should have never happened to begin with.
Assuming that happens — and the odds are long that she would be successful — she can no longer make the “baddest woman on the planet” claim as long as Justino is out there waiting.
What do you think about Rousey’s options at this point, readers? Do you think last night ruined her credibility, and is a victory over Cris Cyborg the only way to get that back?
[Image via Cris Cyborg / Facebook]