MMA fans have anticipated a showdown between UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey and Invicta FC Featherweight Champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino for the last year — or more.
However, they have had to accept that the two are separated by a weight division, and fighting in two different promotions.
Or, are they?
Yesterday, we learned that may not be the case — but, as they say, it’s complicated.
UFC President Dana White appeared on UFC Tonight yesterday to field questions regarding “Cyborg,” who, as it turns out, is indeed under contract with ZUFFA, the parent company of the UFC.
In fact, she’s been under ZUFFA contract for about two months.
It’s been unclear what exactly the relationship is between Invicta and ZUFFA, especially since the all-women MMA promotion’s fights have began airing on the UFC subscription service, UFC Fight Pass, last year.
White didn’t clear that up at all, but he did provide an important detail in the contract for “Cyborg”: she’ll have to fight at 135 pounds in another promotion, before fighting in the UFC.
That means any bout with Rousey would have to take place long after “Cyborg’s” next 145 lb title defense in July. In fact, a 135 lb. bout for the Brazilian would have to be scheduled before it’s even possible.
Still, it seems the wheels are in motion. Last month, Cyborg’s manager told ESPN he intends to make the Rousey bout happen by year’s end — and today, that seems to be one step closer.