UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is flying high right now.
Her most recent victory, a 35 second dismantling of Bethe Correia in Brazil, has continued the American judoka’s rise from an unknown in a fringe sport to mainstream media darling.
Now, Rousey is considered by many as not only the best women’s mixed martial arts fighter of all time, but the greatest figure in women’s combative sports.
However, one MMA legend begs to differ.
According to Wanderlei Silva, who reigned as PRIDE’s 200 lb champion during the heyday of the Japanese MMA scene, Rousey isn’t the best in women’s MMA — not until she faces Cris “Cyborg” Justino.
“She’s the best if she beats Cyborg,” Silva said in an interview with TMZ. “Before she fights against Cyborg, be quiet!”
According to Silva, Cyborg’s record in MMA speaks for itself.
“Cyborg is about ten years without a loss,” he said. “You can’t say you’re the best in the world before you fight Cyborg. After she (Rousey) beats Cyborg, I take off my hat.”
“I love Cyborg, she is a good friend,” he added, when asked about his relationship with his fellow Brazilian — who, like Silva, cut her teeth in MMA at Chute Boxe Academy in Curitiba. “I know what she can do.”
But, he admits, it’s a tough fight for Cyborg too.
“Ronda fights really well,” Silva said. “She’s working with good hands. This can be the be the best fight, for women’s (MMA), of all time.”