clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Strikeforce results: Like it or not, Ronda Rousey has the leverage in challenging 'Cyborg' Santos


One just successfully defended her Strikeforce Bantamweight Championship in a dominating and jaw-dropping performance.

The other is on the tail end of a one-year suspension following a positive steroid test that overturned her last victory and led to the promotion stripping her of her Featherweight Championship. Actually, it led to the dissolution of the 145-pound division altogether.

After tonight, it seems there's but two halves in women's mixed martial arts (MMA) and you either back Ronda Rousey or support "Cyborg" Cristiane Santos.

"Rowdy" continued her streak -- the only exception being her victory over Miesha Tate -- of winning her fights in less than a minute when she secured an armbar on Sarah Kaufman, forcing the former champion to tap at the 54 second mark last night (Sat., Aug. 18, 2012) in San Diego.

If you had taken the time to answer the door, pay the pizza delivery driver and get back to the living room with a slice of pie, you would have missed Rousey's first title defense entirely.

It was an incredible victory, one that seemingly proved ever word of trash talk "Rowdy" threw her opponent's way. But even after she was done with the fight, she wasn't done talking smack.

Her target following her victory at Strikeforce: "Rousey vs. Kaufman" was "Cyborg."

"Rowdy" challenged the former 145-pound champion, demanding the Brazilian drop 10 pounds if she wanted to challenge her.

Santos has never fought at bantamweight but did mention she may cut down to the weight class if no other challenges at featherweight presented themselves.

This was, of course, one suspension and title stripping ago.

Rousey spent most of her career at 145-pounds before dropping down to challenge Tate at bantamweight and has been there ever since.

So why doesn't "Rowdy" move up?

Simply because she doesn't have to. She holds all the cards -- at least all the goods ones -- in this game.

With her insane physique, Santos was the subject of many rumors even before she was busted last December. With her positive steroid test confirming what many already thought, one can't help but wonder how long she was actually using. The steroid stigma is hard to scrub off once it's been applied but in Santos' case, it may be impossible.

Rousey, meanwhile, is the charming new face of Strikeforce. Beautiful and deadly, talented and outspoken, she is pretty much everything Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White could ask for in a champion.

This is why the judoka can dictate the particulars of her fight, if it does happen, with Santos. And unfortunately for the Brazilian, she may very well have to capitulate to the champion's demands.

Advantage: "Rowdy."

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania