Dana White has never been one to mince words. If there is one thing that the UFC prez has always hated it’s fighters that run away from fights. Which is why his support of Ronda Rousey not fighting Cyborg Santos is incredibly odd to say the least.
The UFC 135 pound women’s champion has been very vocal about her dislike for Cristiane Cyborg Santos. Rousey has regularly mocked the former Strikeforce champion over the last several months in interviews and social media. Yet as tough of a game as she talks, she sure doesn’t seem interested in fighting her.
Rousey will tell you that she will fight Santos and then follow it up with a non negotiable demand to fight at 135 pounds. Santos has repeatedly said she’d fight Rousey in a second, but she can’t come down to 135. Santos claims to walk around at 160, 170, and coming down to 135 will be dangerous to her health. As a compromise, Cyborg has offered to fight at 140. Rousey won’t budge.
I can’t recall a similar situation ever under Dana White’s watch where he didn’t publicly ridicule the fighter for not compromising. Heck, White criticized his own champion at every turn last year for turning down a fight, always telling fans that champions shouldn’t turn down fights. Which is why White’s support of Rousey refusing to come up five pounds for the fight is just outright perplexing.
White is now playing psychological games with Cyborg. White is now telling the MMA media that Cyborg is scared to fight Rousey, which is why she won’t come down to 135. I didn’t realize he was getting into stand up comedy.
“[Bantamweight] is the only division we have,” White said. “It’s been real interesting. You know, I’ve been in the fight game since I was 19 years old and I’ve been doing this for 15 years and what I get out of this deal with Cyborg is that she wants nothing to do with Ronda Rousey. She does not want to fight Ronda Rousey.”
All of the sudden the UFC are afraid of promoting catchweight fights? White has been begging Anderson Silva to fight Jon Jones and GSP to fight Anderson at catchweights. But all of the sudden a division that crowned its champion without even a fight has so much integrity that his champion can’t come up five pounds for a fight that would be the biggest WMMA fight of all time? This is just getting ridiculous.
It is hard to feel sorry for Cyborg. She got busted for PEDs and many feel that even though she got busted last year, she may have been using them longer. “Those poor girls” are what I have heard from fans and some journalists regarding Santos’ opponents after Santos was busted. Unfortunately for Santos, his past indiscretions have cost a lot of support she’d probably have in this common situation.
Cyborg continues to say that coming down that much would be too unhealthy. Santos says she wants to have kids some day and that cutting that much could prevent that from happening. Again, she loses sympathy when you consider the fact that she failed a PED test. Is taking a PED healthy if you plan to have children in your future?
Let’s call a spade a spade here. Dana White is the one scared to death of seeing this fight happen. I think he knows as do I that Cyborg would obliterate Rousey, destroying one of the biggest stars he thinks he has. How can you market the greatest woman’s fighter of all-time after she got brutalized? You can’t and without her the division is not nearly as marketable. The irony here is that as much money as the UFC stands to make by a Rousey vs. Santos fight, they could lose more if Rousey is the star they think she is.
Dana later said, “If I know Rhonda, she probably would anyway. If (Cyborg) wants to fight for a title, she’s gotta go to 135 pounds. The fight at 140 would be a fan fight because everybody wants to see it, but it’s not one of those fights that makes sense.” All I have ever heard from Ronda was say that she wouldn’t go up for the fight. If she really wanted to fight Cyborg all she’d have to do is say yes.
At this point I think the UFC, Dana White, and Ronda Rousey just look foolish. Continuing to call another fighter, yet ducking the fight over five pounds (especially when Rousey has fought heavier) makes Rousey look like a paper champion.