Photo by Esther Lin
How far will UFC President Dana White go to book a Ronda Rousey vs. Cris Cyborg super fight? He's even willing pay Mike Dolce to help the muscular Brazilian make the 135-pound weight cut.
That's according to UFC President Dana White, who recently told Tatame.com that he has one division for the ladies of mixed martial arts (MMA) and you're either on board or you're not. He was, however, not totally unsympathetic to her quandary.
Heck, he even offered to pay weight management "expert" Mike Dolce to help her lose the extra baggage:
"She can get to this weight, we have an expert who can help you lose weight in a healthy way, it does so with all our athletes. We have Mike Dolce, who has the system to do wrestlers lose weight and still feel good, and it's all about your diet. He is 100% ready to work with her and will not cost anything to Cris. If she wants to fight in the UFC she'll have to fight at 135 pounds."
The problem with a catchweight fight? You can't put the title up for grabs.
As of now, there is only one belt in the UFC women's division and it's held by undefeated fight phenom Ronda Rousey, who also competed at 145 pounds, but has settled into her new home at bantamweight and refuses to budge.
Dolce tells Bloody Elbow she doesn't need to, as "Cyborg" can easily make the weight and would be an even more dynamic fighter at 135 pounds:
"It is absolutely possible for her to make 135. I believe 135 will be her best weight class. I think she's a legitimate 135 pounder. I think as good as she was at 145, she'll be even more dynamic at 135. I believe it wouldn't be that difficult at all. I was actually flown out to California to meet with Cris recently, and we had a great conversation. It was just she and I, and after learning more about Cris, her personality, current lifestyle, diet, training program, and just physically, as she looked that day, I believe, in my professional opinion, dare I say, expert opinion, that she will be amazing at 135 pounds. I don't do weight cuts, per se, I do life and longevity, and when we focus on that, the weight cut becomes easy. That's why all my athletes are so healthy. That's why the UFC and Dana White pointed at me and said, 'That's the guy. We're gonna call Dolce to get her in shape', because he knows that I keep his athletes healthy, they come to the scale on weight and they step in the cage and give great performances. When it comes to weight cutting, the worst case scenarios come to me, not because there's any special, secret potions. It's because I get these athletes healthy, and once they're healthy, then they can do everything."
Rousey will next defend her title against Liz Carmouche at the UFC 157 pay-per-view (PPV) event next month in Anaheim. After that? The promotion could be hard-pressed to find a legitimate contender -- unless "Cyborg" is willing to take White up on his offer.
What say you?