Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg were once the most talked-about women’s MMA feud on the market. Both were unbeaten for all practical purposes.
Rousey really was, and Cyborg hadn’t lost a match since one of her first contests when she got submitted while still trying to learn the ropes.
Since that loss, Cyborg has torn a swath of destruction through the world of cage fighting and has been chasing Ronda Rousey for a grudge match that would promise to make record-breaking PPV sales — that is, until recently.
When Ronda Rousey was knocked unconscious by then-challenger and already-ex-champ Holly Holm, the mystique of invincibility for the Olympic Silver Medalist was gone.
Ronda had been exposed in brutal fashion. Meanwhile, the Cris Cyborg, the undisputed Invicta FC Featherweight Champion and newly minted UFC star, continued whipping everything either organization put in front of her.
With the new developments in place, some theorized that interest in a Rousey-Cyborg super fight was gone, or had at least greatly diminished. Now, thanks to polling from the MMA Fighting website, it appears the sentiment is true.
Interest in a Rousey-Cyborg super fight is waning.
According to the site, which has polled 537 readers at this time, only 50 percent of fans still care to see it with the same intensity they once had. The exact way that the site phrased the question was this.
As you can see, the No’s even have it by five votes. While this could change as the poll continues, that’s a large enough sample size to show that whether it changes one way or the other, it will likely be by only a couple of percentage points.
At one time, Rousey-Cyborg was the highest profile fight Dana White and the UFC could make. Now the audience is divided, and it owes mostly to the knockout that Holm dealt Rousey.
Also, not to be discounted, there is the way Ronda Rousey responded to her first MMA defeat. Rather than own it, she went into hiding for two weeks and then made rare appearances.
Only recently has she started to turn up on television through the occasional interview and commercial.
For a superstar who was once making headlines daily, the decision to keep a low profile found bad timing. Fans and industry insiders have accused her of not having the mental toughness to continue in the sport, and it’s unlikely that changes before the end of 2016.
Factor in the obvious ring rust that Rousey would have when facing Cris Cyborg in a potential comeback fight, and you’ve got the makings of a massacre.
A better course of action is one that Dana White prescribed in comments to Globo.
“I think in a perfect world, what everybody would love to see is Ronda vs. Cyborg, so everybody is waiting — I’m sure Cyborg is, too — is the return of Ronda Rousey. When she does return, I’m sure [Rousey is] gonna want to fight for the title, probably defend it and then maybe fight Cyborg. I don’t know. We’ll see how this thing plays out.”
— SciFighting (@SciFighting) September 7, 2016
A likelier scenario at this point is that Ronda Rousey decides not to return at all. She has given no indication she is eager to get her loss back or to win the belt or to even resume serious training.
She has signed a movie development deal with the Lifetime Movie Network, and she will be starring in the upcoming remake of Roadhouse.
There is a new rumor she may make the UFC 207 card, but with all the false alarms Ronda Rousey has set off this year, you can’t blame fans for being skeptical.
But what do you think, readers? Should fans still be excited about a Rousey-Cyborg fight, and is it still the most compelling match in women’s MMA, or MMA in general? Sound off in the comments section.
[Featured Images by Buda Mendes and Harry How/Getty Images]