The merry-go-round of "will they or won't they" has been spinning for years. They are two of the greatest names in women's MMA, and if you know anything about the sport, you have at least heard of one of them (but hopefully both).
Ronda Rousey is the former UFC bantamweight champion, and she went undefeated for more than four years before losing her title to Holly Holm in November 2015. The catch She hasn't fought since.
Cris "Cyborg" Justino is the current Invicta featherweight champion, and has finally made her UFC debut. She's set to headline UFC Fight Night Brasilia this weekend. Cris has been undefeated in MMA for more than 10 years.
Since Rousey has been gone, the talk of a fight with Cyborg has been increasing, and even UFC president, Dana White is talking about it.
"I think in a perfect world, what everybody would love to see is Ronda vs. Cyborg, so what everybody is waiting for — 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," he said to Globo.
Here's the three reasons why I think this fight FINALLY needs to happen:
These two women have been called the best in the sport for years, with people either being on "Team Cyborg" or "Team Rousey," so it's natural that they should fight, even more so now than ever before.
There will never be a true queen of MMA until they fight, and the war of the two "teams" will continue on forever.
These two women each have something to prove, and they can't do it without the other.
Rousey is coming off a loss, and a devastating one at that. Her legacy is at risk. She could have rode off into the sunset without a win over Cyborg, but now that she has lost, people are questioning if she was ever as good as they once thought. Perhaps the best way to silence the critics is to face Cyborg - and win.
Cyborg, on the other hand, has everything to lose - she is already considered the best pound for pound fighter (ESPN), but somehow she is still doubted. She needs to face Rousey and she needs to win to finally secure her place on the top.
The fight hasn't happened for many reasons (weight class, the fact that they were champions of different promotions, etc), but it's time to set those reasons aside and do what's right for the fans.
There is no one that wants this fight more than me. The fans all know this will be one of the biggest fights in women's MMA history, as well as the sport's history in general.
The fans would come in droves to see this fight. I imagine it being record breaking on every account. Think of the pay-per-view buys!
The UFC would make BANK. What's the hold up guys?!
Rousey has had plenty of UFC paychecks- big ones, too. Cyborg, who has been fighting twice as long, has not.
At the very least, Cyborg deserves the big money fight after her long reign in MMA.
Because of the reasons I stated above, it's pretty hard to imagine why she's never been rewarded with the big payday she's undoubtedly earned.
Rivalry aside, both fighters have made tremendous marks in MMA, yet neither have made anything close to their male counterparts.
No matter what, I really hope the UFC sees the potential in this matchup and makes it happen before one of them retires!