Last night, in the main event of the Strikeforce show on Showtime, Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey continued her streak of dominance, defeating Sarah Kaufman in less than a minute with, what else, an armbar. That marks Rousey's sixth straight round 1 armbar victory, and her second straight against a true top of the line opponent. With Kaufman dispatched, attention quickly shifted to the clear next potential opponent for Rousey - former Strikeforce champion Cris Cyborg. Rousey vs. Cyborg is the obvious big superfight for Strikeforce, either on the men's or women's side, and could easily surpass Cyborg vs. Gina Carano as the biggest Women's MMA fight of all time. The only problem?
Rousey vs. Cyborg is not happening.
In her post-fight speech, Rousey called out Cyborg, continuing the verbal battle she's been engaged in for some time now. But this time her message was clear - Rousey is the champ, and you come to the champ, the champ doesn't come to you. Meaning she wants the fight at 135. But last week, Cyborg was clear as well - she'll fight at 140, but doesn't think she can cut down to 135.
That is what we call an impasse.
This debate over weight has been the killing force to many discussed fights, including Anderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre, and Jason Miller vs. Nick Diaz. And unless one side changes their position, Rousey vs. Cyborg is on the way to join Silva vs. GSP, Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather, and Randy Couture vs. Fedor Emelianenko in the list of much-discussed superfights that just don't happen.
More Bloody Elbow Strikeforce Coverage: Strikeforce Rousey vs Kaufman Results: Sunday Perspective | Strikeforce Video: Ronda Rousey Armbars Sarah Kaufman In 54 Seconds | Strikeforce: Rousey Vs. Kaufman Results And Post-Fight Analysis
Of course, it doesn't have to be this way. If Rousey and Cyborg truly want to fight, then Rousey and Cyborg will fight. But again, in order for that to happen, one of the women must change her position. And that one should be Ronda Rousey.
I understand the sentiment behind her statement - she's the champion, and so she shouldn't have to make a concession - but her idea that "the champ doesn't come to you" is wrong. A champion, a true champion, goes to where the best fights are to be found. B.J. Penn is a great Lightweight, yet it was his Welterweight title win over Matt Hughes and champion vs. champion mega-fight with GSP that really cemented his legacy. The same goes for Pacquiao, whose rise through the weights is a huge part of his legend - a legend that we're seeing chip away lately, partly because of the Mayweather fight not happening.
Again, I understand Rousey's position. She's a fiercely proud fighter, who seems to view it as a matter of principle that Cyborg be forced to come to her division. I respect that kind of principled view. But right now, it's getting in the way.
Ronda Rousey vs. Cris Cyborg is the fight that needs to happen. Not Rousey vs. Tate II, not Rousey vs. Julie Kedzie, not Rousey vs. Germaine de Randamie in a poor man's version of the Cyborg fight. And Rousey vs. Cyborg can happen.
The key to the fight is in Ronda Rousey's hands. Let's see what she decides to do with it.