Cristiane Cyborg Santos says she is now willing to fight Ronda Rousey at 135 pounds in the UFC, giving fight fans the most anticipated fight in MMA Women’s history at some point in 2013.
MMAJunkie.com did a great job of tracking down the former Strikeforce champion and asking her about the advertised fight. Santos confirmed that she was in talks with the UFC. The bigger news here is that it appears the one hurdle in making the fight has been cleared. Santos has agreed to fight at 135 pounds.
“In one month, I can’t do it, but if I have time, I could do it.”
The problem is the timing here in regards to UFC 157. Santos told the website that she could fight on UFC 157 but couldn’t get below 145 pounds by fight time. Regardless, the big news here is that Santos is on board at 135 for the fight. Santos is currently under suspension and is free to reapply for a license on December 17.
This puts the UFC in a real interesting predicament. Do they sit Rousey long enough to allow Santos to make weight? Do they risk Rousey fighting before then? Do they sign Santos to fight at 145 before then? There is high risk-high reward for all scenarios. The best case scenario would be to have them both fight at 157, win, and set up the grudge match for later next year. Unfortunately wins are never guaranteed in MMA so that always poses a major risk to the biggest female fight that the UFC will probably ever sign.
Rousey has insisted from the start that Santos drop to 135 to fight. I am still baffled as to why the UFC has supported her on this when the company is actively trying to get Georges St-Pierre to fight Anderson Silva out of his weight class and Silva to fight Jon Jones out of his. I always assumed that in order for Rousey to get a UFC deal that she’d have to agree to fight Santos at 140. Yet that doesn’t appear to be the case at all.
There is also the Strikeforce mess that has to be worked out. Dave Meltzer reports that Rousey can’t fight in the UFC until Strikeforce is officially closed or done with Showtime. Strikeforce has a show coming up January 12 that appears to be their final show. The UFC may not be contractually allowed to sign Rousey to any fights until the Strikeforce/Showtime relationship is officially dead. That would likely keep her off of the UFC 157 event regardless of whether Cyborg could make weight or not.
More to come I am sure.