Are Ronda Rousey and Cyborg Justino Fighting Soon?
One day after Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino” demolished Charmaine Tweet in 46 seconds to retain her Invicta FC 145 pound title, UFC Women’s bantamweight champion Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey obliterated #1 contender Cat “Alpha” Zingano in just 14 seconds to keep her strap. The question now is whether these two super champions would face each other soon?
Following promotional issues and an ankle injury, Justino fought for the first time in an MMA contest since May of 2013. She knocked out Canadian challenger Charmaine Tweet 46 seconds into their title fight last Friday at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.
Cyborg came out of the gates firing, landing a counter left hook that rocked Tweet and then delivered a cracking overhand right that sent the challenger to the canvass. Tweet managed to get up, but a barrage of punches sent her to the fence. Referee Herb Dean stopped the fight after Tweet was left defenseless against the Cyborg onslaught.
Another Fast Finish
The following day, Rousey defended her UFC belt against #1 contender Cat Zingano who had fought her way back from personal tragedy and injuries to reclaim her title shot. The unbeaten Zingano was expected to be the toughest challenge Rousey has ever faced and the most accomplished striker she’s ever fought. Instead, Rousey turned in the fastest finish in UFC title fight history when she submitted Zingano in 14 seconds. The finish was even faster than Rousey’s 16 second demolition of Alexis Davis at UFC 175.
It was Zingano who tried to surprise Rousey when she opened the fight rushing at the champion with a flying knee. But Rousey caught her and put her on her back. Then in one single and fluid motion, Rousey transitioned to straight right armlock by stepping over Zingano’s head as she turtled while attempting to get back to her feet.
She’s A Beast
It was Rousey’s fifth defense of her title. Four of those defenses have ended in the first round including the last three. Those last three bouts have lasted a total of 96 seconds. It was the 9th armbar finish in Rousey’s career. Her other two victories have been by knockout, giving her a 100% finishing rate in 11 career fights. After her UFC 184 victory, Rousey has been called a beast for dominating her opponents and cleaning up her weight class.
On the other hand, Justino has a record of 13-1 with 11 knockouts. Her KO of Tweet was the 6th first round knockout of her career. One of those first round KOs was the one that sent MMA Pioneer and superstar Gina Carano to retirement in 2009. Justino won the Strikeforce featherweight title with that fight and she almost locked horns with Rousey back in 2011 when Ronda was still with Strikeforce. But a drug-related suspension and Rousey’s move to the UFC prevented that match-up from happening.
But now that Justino fight for Invicta FC, talks of that superfight fight have resurfaced once again. Invicta and the UFC have a strong business relationship. Invicta’s fights air exclusively on UFC Fight Pass, an paid internet subscription service of the UFC. Last month, Justino signed a contract extension with Invicta. It was reported that UFC CEO Lorenzo Ferttita was involved in the negotiations for her extension. The UFC CEO also attended Justino’s fight on Friday.
UFC President Dana White also hinted about matching up Rousey and Justino in the UFC, but said that the Invicta champion had to drop to 135 pounds since the UFC does not have a womens featherweight division. Justino was rumored to have tried to cut weight last year, but an injury prevented that. She is expected to cut to 135 pounds and fight for the Invicta bantamweight title later in the year. And if all goes well, she should move to the UFC with a title shot against Rousey in her debut.
For now, those are plans by the UFC and Invicta. But if the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight in boxing got done after more than five years in the making, this MMA superfight between two of the most dominant champions is one we should expect in the near future.
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