Former Strikeforce featherweight champion Cristiane Justino will be making her long-awaited drop to the bantamweight division when she tests the 135-pound waters for Invicta FC in December (more on that here). The end goal, naturally, is a showdown against Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) queenpin Ronda Rousey.
A fight several years in the making.
But how this potential grudge match plays out is unknown. Rousey has an Olympic medal in judo and started off her career by armbarring anyone who stood in her way. But now she has proven power in her hands, too, and has recently been winning fights by way of strikes.
That's just fine with Justino (12-1), according to her conversation with Submission Radio:
"I like the stand up, you know. I cannot say 'Oh I'll take her down,' no. I like the stand up and I think it's more exciting. I like to knock people out, I like to punch people, I like to be standing. People think 'Ah, she doesn't have Jiu Jitsu.' Man I compete Jiu Jitsu and I'm twice champion of the world and a purple belt. I got my brown belt in one year and I like to compete in wrestling. I like to compete fighting in Muay Thai. I think when you compete, you learn every day something. But always when I fight I like the stand up, but not because I don't have ground, because I think it's more exciting. I like to change punches, I like to be boxing and I like this. And for Ronda Rousey, man I will knock out her for sure and I'll try, but you know you have to be ready for everything inside the Octagon. To have the opportunity to submit her, I will. To have the opportunity to knock her out, I will. You know, it's a game. You have to be ready for everything and I'll be ready for everything when I fight her for sure."
It should be noted that Justino's only loss came by way of armbar.
But that was over nine years ago and the Brazilian has undoubtedly improved, winning a pair of grappling titles to go along with her accomplishments in mixed martial arts (MMA). As for the ground game, we haven't seen much of it, simply because she prefers to stand and bang.
That said, is there any chance in hell she can sub the "Rowdy" one?