Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion-turned-manger Tito Ortiz is hell-bent on making a "super fight" between current UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey and his client, former Strikeforce featherweight titleholder, Cristiane Santos, a reality.
After the Brazilian signed with Invicta FC instead of taking up UFC President Dana White on his generous offer to have Santos under ZUFFA contract -- while still fighting for the all-women's mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion -- Ortiz says he is still working with his former employer in order to book a much-anticipated showdown between "Rowdy" and "Cyborg."
And he wants to do it on New Year's Eve after Santos has fulfilled her three-fight deal with Invicta and has claimed the promotion's title, as he recently reveled to Fight Hub TV:
"Cris has shown in Strikeforce, why she's so dominant, why women are afraid of her. She has three fights with Invicta, she will be the world champion and she will walk away a world champion. Like I said, New Year's Eve, let's make a super fight. Forget the title. Champion vs. champion, who cares about the title? Fans want to see a fight and as a manager, I want to make sure that this fight happens and that's why we didn't sign with anybody else, with any competition against the UFC. I want to work with UFC and I want to give fighters the opportunity to fight on the biggest stage in the world as I fought for 15 years. I was excited for the reaction for women fighting and women's fighting is here to stay and it isn't going anywhere."
Cyborg's weight-cutting woes have hindered any chance of her making the drop down to the 135-pound division -- the only weight class for women currently in the UFC -- in order to challenge her rival for the title. As far at Ortiz is concerned, neither he nor Santos care about the strap, they just want to give fight fans what they want to see.
But, with no title on the line, it's highly unlikely White would be up for a catchweight fight and risk having Ronda -- one of his newest and biggest pay-per-view (PPV) draws -- lose a fight for the sake of a "super fight." That, and Rousey's firm stance against moving up just to please "Cyborg," will likely put a damper on Tito's 2013 New Year's Eve plans.
Or can "The People's Champion" actually make it work?