After making quick work of Sarah Kaufman at Strikeforce: "Rousey vs. Kaufman" in San Diego, Calif., this past weekend (Sat., Aug. 18, 2012), reigning women's Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey got on the microphone and called out Cristiane Justino (formerly Santos), the ferocious female who was once considered the number one pound-for-pound fighter in womens' mixed martial arts (MMA).
It wasn't the first time. Not by a long shot.
Rousey has been tugging on "Cyborg's" pant leg for a long time, going as far as to publicly call her a "cheater," a reference to the Brazilian's recent run in with the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) over the presence of stanozolol metabolites in her system.
Justino is currently serving out a 12-month suspension for her wrongdoings, and will be unable to re-apply for a license to fight until Dec. 2012. In the meantime, neither fighter has been shy about their feelings for the other, especially when a microphone and a camera are turned on.
But, is it a fight that is destined to never take place?
It would appear to be the case, as each fighter has stubbornly vowed to never budge and move to other's respective weight class. It's become a real "she said, she said" war of words, and it's nowhere near being over.
During a recent interview with "Inside MMA's" Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten, "Rowdy" talked about her latest armbar victory, and she continued to vent regarding her feelings for "Cyborg."
We've got it all for you, after the jump:
First and foremost, Rousey spent a few minutes talking about her latest win versus Kaufman. She voiced some disappointment on not being able to show off more of her arsenal as a fighter, but, hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it:
"Hopefully, I'll be able to show a little bit more of my game than just the armbar, at some point, but as long as it's still working, I'm not gonna go out of my way to do anything else."
Rousey continued to rehash the title fight, and she talked a bit about her strategy, which she believes was very successful:
"My striking coach spent our first year together only working on footwork with me. So, I feel like my footwork is much more advanced than my hands are. We know that Sarah likes matching that right hand with all of her opponents, so I knew not to use my right hand at all unless I opened her up with the left. I had to throw so many left jabs before I could even try to throw in a right, and it worked out perfect. So, I guess he's smart."
So, what about that pesky "Cyborg?"
Rousey was asked if she planned on waiting for a fight against her new nemesis, or if she would be okay with taking another fight in the meantime.
As far as she's concerned, she'd be good with "Cyborg" being her next opponent, but she knows it's not entirely up to her:
"It depends. I wouldn't want 'Cyborg' to have another fight before she fights me, when she comes back from her suspension. So, I would rather wait, to get her right when she gets off her suspension, than for her to have another fight in the in between. But, if I have to wait longer, then, whatever the fans wanna see, I'm down to do."
So, how does "Cyborg" feel about all of this? Recently, she's been the quieter of the two. Possibly, due to the language barrier. Possibly, due to the fact that there's not a lot of airtime left when Rousey is done saying what she has to say.
However, "Inside MMA" was good enough to furnish us with a quote, directly from Justino -- a quote that they read to Rousey herself.
Check it out:
"She claims she is the champion and openly challenges me to fight at 135 pounds, which I find laughable. I have never fought below 145 pounds, and I am considered the pound-for-pound top women's fighter in the world! I have yet to lose a fight while holding the Strikeforce 145 pounds title. My last fight was considered a 'No Contest,' but that has not changed the fact that I am the women's 145 pounds champion. There really is not a safe way for me to cut to 135 pounds, not without hurting myself physically. My cardiologist and physician have advises me that to make such a drastic reduction in weight could have permanent effects on my long term health. I will not endanger my health to satisfy the rantings of a spoiled little girl."
Surprise, surprise. Rousey was none too pleased with "Cyborg's" comments, and she was locked, loaded, and raring to go with more fuel to stoke the fire:
"You know, that girl has been cheating for her entire career, and she's not the champion. She was stripped of her belt. It's not like she was fighting before, and suddenly you saw a huge muscle mass increase from her in her last fight. Everybody knows she's been cheating her entire career. The whole time she's held that belt, I think it's just been a fraud. If she comes off the juice, she won't have any problem making the weight. Everyone was telling me that after she got caught, she looked really small. She stopped taking all those hormones or whatever she was taking to go to those athletic commission hearings, and then, suddenly, she's all big and huge again and saying that she can't make the weight. Before, she said she probably could make the weight. Now, she sees that she's probably gonna get her butt kicked, she's putting it back on and saying she can't make it. Who else is she gonna fight besides me, anyway? I got a whole line of girls waiting to fight me. She needs to fight me or else she's pretty much done. When she was the champion, I was like, 'Ok. I can't prove that she's doing anything, so I'm gonna have to come up to her at some point, when I'm ready.' But, now I'm the champion, and she's been defamed for good reason, and she has to come and fight me. She has no other options, and I don't owe her anything. I don't need to do anything for her. Who does she think she is, Muhammad Ali? Creating her own weight division? She's not as awesome as she thinks she is. I've got other things to do. Come down to 135, or I don't have time for you."
So, just who is in this "long line of girls" that Rousey believes is cued up, in order to fight her next?
"There's a couple of girls. Marloes Coenen called me out, a little bit ago. Miesha Tate was talking all about a rematch until she changed her mind. Sarah McMann is an Olympic wrestler, who's been rated in the top five, and I think that'd be a really good fight. Liz Carmouche was also expressing some interest in fighting me. There's a bunch of other girls that I'd be down to fight."
If the fans have any say in the matter, Rousey vs. "Cyborg" is a fight that will eventually be signed, sealed and delivered, but we know the fans don't always get what they want.
Is it a fight you Maniacs would pay to see?