UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has said that, despite her busy schedule, she is open to a fight against Cris “Cyborg” Justino (formerly Cris Santos).
The 26-year-old, who was recently cast in The Expendables 3, will be coaching season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter opposite No. 1 contender Miesha Tate. The series premieres on Fox Sports 1 Wednesday, September 4, and the two will face off during the season finale in December.
But while Rousey (7-0) has multiple obligations, she insists the impetus is on Justino to set the fight in motion.
Rousey told ESPN‘s Brett Okamoto, “I mean yeah, she’s always on my radar. But I have a really, really full plate and she has nothing to worry about but me.”
She added, “I have a lot of things going on. She’s fighting random chicks. I mean, Marloes [Coenen] —it took her longer and more energy to beat Marloes than it took Miesha [Tate] (in July 2011).”
After returning from a one-year drug suspension, Justino (12-1) won the inaugural Invicta featherweight women’s champion at Invicta FC 6: Coenen vs. Cyborg on July 13. She finished Coenen by TKO at 4:40 in the fourth round; at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson on July 30, 2011, Tate defeated Coenen by arm-triangle choke at 3:03 in the fourth round.
Rousey also said that if Justino really wants the fight, “she needs to get off her a** and try to make (it) happen.”
Rousey said that it’s “only the MMA diehards” that want to see her and Justino face off.
“If she really wants to make that fight happen, I’m here,” she added.
Justino’s manager, former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, said he wants a “superfight” between Justino and Rousey for New Year’s Eve 2013. He said the fight was one fans would want to see and said that the date is “why we didn’t sign with anybody else, with any competition against the UFC.”
UFC president Dana White said that he hasn’t been in contact with either Justino or Ortiz.
“I have not heard from her manager,” White said. “I have not seen any press conferences. So, I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on with Cyborg.”
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