UFC champion Jon Jones has taken a lot of criticism recently for turning down a fight with Chael Sonnen. Ironically Strikeforce champion Ronda Rousey remains the darling of MMA, yet she refuses to fight Cris Cyborg. Why is Rousey getting a free ride?
I started thinking about this the other day and it really doesn’t make any sense to me. Jon Jones has been blasted by fans, media, and fellow fighters for refusing to take a fight on eight days notice. Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey on other hand is refusing to fight Cris Cyborg Santos with a full training camp, while Jones’ critics continue to worship the ground she walks on. In my mind Rousey refusing to fight Cyborg is far worse than Jones refusing to fight Chael Sonnen on anyone else on short notice.
“I don’t owe her anything. And she needs to fight me more than I need to fight her. There’s a line, they all want to beat me up now. So, really, she needs to come to me.”
Wrong! You both need the fight. I saw the Ronda Rousey All Access special and the girl lives in a small apartment. Her payoffs are public and let’s just say that the face of Women’s MMA isn’t making the kind of money that a middle of the road UFC fighter makes. Heck, she made less than Ronaldo Souza on the same card a few weeks back. This fight would be huge, resulting in the biggest payoffs in either fighter’s careers. Unless Rousey has all of the sudden fallen into a windfall of money, my hunch is that Rousey needs this fight.
Even more, every woman struggling to pay her bills and fight in MMA needs this fight. The future of the division could rest on this fight. Ronda Rousey vs. Cris Santos would be the biggest fight in Women’s MMA history! Nothing has or could be bigger. The fight would do more to expose this struggling division to mainstream media and casual fans than any fight could ever do. The division would become bigger, the fighters would make more money, and recognition would skyrocket. Yet Rousey continues to refuse to fight. Jones’ refusal to fight resulted in a cancelled card. Rousey’s refusal to fight Cyborg is tantamount to holding the entire division hostage refusing to do her part to help move the division forward.
Rousey is holding on to this 135 pound challenge. Cyborg on the other hand says it is physically impossible for her to come down in weight. Cyborg has offered a compromise at 140, that is a mere five pounds more than where Rousey fights now. “I really wanna fight Ronda,” she said onThe MMA Hour. “I really want to. She says bad things about me. I never say bad things about my opponent. I want to do my best in the octagon, and if she says she wants to fight me, she can come to my weight or at 140.”
Ironically Rousey had this to say about what she would do in Jon Jones’ situation.
“If Dana said he wanted me to fight Chris ‘Cyborg’ Santos with a 40lbs weight disadvantage or wrap our hands with Duck Tape and be there in 40 minutes, I’d say I’d be there in 10 minutes just so I could stretch first.”
Wait, so you’d fight her with 40 minutes notice at any weight but you won’t take a fight with five extra pounds with a full training camp? That makes less sense than anything Bones has said in the last two weeks and that certainly says a lot.
It is easy to sit here and say that Rousey shouldn’t have to move up in weight. Do you think Anderson Silva should fight Jon Jones? If you do, it is probably because he has fought at that weight before. Rousey has not only fought at 145, she fought at 150! Why did Rousey move down to 135? I am hardly a Cris Santos fan, but you could argue that Rousey moved down because she was scared to fight Santos.
Jon Jones shut down a card by refusing to fight. He arguably cost his fellow fighters money, I say arguably because the UFC have offered to make good on that. Yet Ronda Rousey not fighting Cyborg could result in an entire division being shut down if it doesn’t progress and could cost women more in future payoffs than anything lost at UFC 151. In my opinion, that is far worse than anything Jones has pulled in the last two weeks.
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