Ronda Rousey is caught in a tricky situation. As Rousey get closer to her UFC return, she faces growing speculation about future fights. At present, there are allegedly two fights Ronda might be considering:
- A fight against Amanda Nunes for the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship.
- A fight against Cristine ‘Cyborg’ Justino…because she’s not Holly Holm.
Rumors suggest Ronda Rousey vs. Amanda Nunes could happen at UFC 207. What’s less clear? When Rousey will make time to answer that devastating TKO hand-delivered by Holly Holm.
Perhaps even murkier than that is why UFC President Dana White is suddenly talking up Ronda Rousey vs. Cris Justino. After months of negotiations, Justino came to the UFC despite the blatant refusal to create a weight division for talented women fighter such as herself. Instead, the “Ronda Rousey” carrot was dangled to justify forced weight cuts.
Insult to injury? Neither White or Rousey seems all that interested in entertaining a catch-weight fight. Watching Cris Justino break down in tears over cutting weight is hard. As the Rolling Stone notes, this is a woman who hasn’t lost a fight in ten years. Yet, this is how the UFC treats her?
But perhaps the most laughable aspect of this entire farce is that we likely wouldn’t be hearing a peep about Rousey vs. Justino if Ronda hadn’t lost to Holly Holm. That the UFC pushed Holm completely out of the picture is telling.
Let’s examine the hypocrisy of Holly Holm’s treatment as a former UFC women’s champion against that of Miesha Tate. Holly Holm won the belt at a PPV fight. She lost the belt in her very next PPV match. Her very next fight appearance was at UFC on FOX.
Miesha Tate likewise won and lost her belt at major PPV events. Tate also failed to wait out Ronda Rousey’s rehabilitation. And yet, we’ll be seeing Miesha Tate again at UFC 205. Why does Holly Holm, who remains the only UFC fighter to beat Ronda Rousey like an unwanted stepchild, have to “earn” her way back onto a PPV card?
And it’s not like the UFC is overflowing with love for Miesha Tate. Miesha previously complained that she didn’t know she wasn’t getting her rematch after Ronda Rousey announced the fight with Holly Holm on Good Morning America.
When it comes to Ronda Rousey, the UFC is kind of shady. At this point, it’s practically disgraceful. I am rather tired of hearing about this alleged fight because I believe that Rousey wants Cyborg as much as she wants Holm at the moment. And that is, not at all.
But you know what? It’s okay if Ronda Rousey doesn’t want to leap right back into the lion’s den. That loss at UFC 193 did a psychological number on her. Perhaps, she’s not mentally prepared for a rematch just yet.
However, White and Rousey need to rethink challenging Cris Justino. Especially, if the entire point of such a fight is to avoid a bout against Holly Holm.
Cris Justino earned the nickname “Cyborg” for a reason. She is a destructive machine. Perhaps, the hope is that by repeatedly forcing her to cut a practically inhuman level of weight, it will make for a fair fight. I am not buying it. I think that the mental and emotional anguish inflicted on Justino through brutal weight cuts will be channeled into a righteous anger. And righteous anger paired with devastating strength and skill isn’t something to underestimate.
If Ronda Rousey moves to fight Cris Justino, she may find herself facing down an even worse loss than what she experienced against Holly Holm.
Ronda Rousey needs to focus on getting ready to compete again. That means looking at one fight at a time. Right, now she has to worry about whether Amanda Nunes will prove to be a stumbling block she didn’t adequately prepare for. Then, and only then, Rousey should get around to entertaining Cris Cyborg.
Who knows? If Ronda Rousey gets her confidence back, Dana White might get around to retrieving Holly Holm from under that carefully swept rug.
Do you think Ronda Rousey vs. Cris Justino will happen? Why is Rousey not talking about a rematch against Holly Holm? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
[Featured Image by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images]