In just a few short weeks, women's Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will introduce WMMA to the UFC's fanbase. She's scheduled to headline UFC 158 in the promotion's first ever female bout against Liz Carmouche.
However, Carmouche isn't the only one who wants a shot at Rousey. former Strikeforce Featherweight champion Cristiane Santos has been trying to force a super fight with the UFC's new golden girl for the last several months with little success. Unfortunately for "Cyborg" Santos, Rousey has cemented her position at 135 lbs. and has shown no intention of meeting Cyborg at a higher weight. On Wednesday, Santos took to Instagram to call out the UFC champ:
I am not afraid of Rhonda! I will fight her anywhere and anytime for free - everyone knows I barely make 145- but I am willing to sacrifice and meet her half way at 140- I can't believe dana says I want nothing to do with Rhonda- what he wants me to do is fight Rhonda with both my hands tied behind my back or comatosed-so that she can have a chance-which is what making me fight at 135 is-
to finally shut everyone up - i will fight Rhonda with one hand tied behind my Back at 140lb and still kick her ass and prove that I'm the real champ not her- and let the winner take ALL come on rhonda step up bitch!
It's quite the aggressive call-out from Cyborg, but probably means little in the long term. The UFC has invested in Ronda Rousey more than WMMA and plan to build the women's division around her. With only two fighters currently under contract in that division, and not even a single title defense from Rousey yet, it seems improbable that the UFC would go for a catchweight fight so early in their development of WMMA.
Cyborg's manager and former UFC fighter Tito Ortiz has spoken repeatedly about the possibility of Cristiane cutting all the way down to Bantamweight without really saying much. They're open to BW fights, but the cut will be really hard. They're willing to work with Mike Dolce, but don't appear to have taken any steps to start the process.
It looks like they're trying to angle for this "super fight" but they lack any real leverage to make it happen. Both Ortiz and Cyborg have touted the claim of her being "the champ", but she's not. She was stripped of her Strikeforce title after failing a post-fight drug test for steroids last year. On top of that, there's little to no women's Featherweight division to speak of. Most likely, if Santos can't make 135 lbs. and can't goad Rousey into accepting a catchweight, she has no other high profile options.