Last Saturday, August 1, nearly one million households ordered the UFC 189 Pay-Per-View event. Most probably could not tell you who was fighting that night, however, they needed only to hear one name to purchase the event: Ronda Rousey. Nearly one million households were able to see Rousey KO her opponent, Correira, in a matter of only 34 seconds. And even more were able to see her KO victory via several various social media outlets. Rousey has found herself to be the dominating force in the women’s UFC batamweight division. The queen of the UFC has been nothing short of spectacular in her short (but already illustrious) MMA career. However, with back-to-back-to-back wins in under 35 seconds, one question has been circulating in the MMA community: Who can possibly dethrone this woman? One name has always made its way into the conversation.
Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino is a name becoming all too synonymous with this particular question. As Rousey is the dominating force at 135 pounds, Cyborg is the dominating force at 145 pounds. And having lost only one fight in her professional MMA career, Cyborg seems to be the perfect dream matchup for Rousey. The two fighters have gone back and forth with each other on social media and through various interviews, leaving MMA fans hopeful for a future potential super-fight. As the current queen of the UFC, Rousey has somewhat demanded that the super-fight take place at 135 pounds, given that bantamweight is one of the only two available weight classes for women in the UFC. Not only that, but Rousey has also been very adamant about citing Cyborg’s failed drug test (stanozolol; an anabolic steroid) back from 2011. Likewise, Cyborg insists that the fight should take place at 145 pounds, given that Rousey has fought at 145 in the past. With neither fighter budging on their weight-class stance, it seems that we have come to a stalemate on a potential super-fight.
It’s no secret that, for a while, one of the UFC’s biggest problem was creating UFC superstars. They needed stars to emerge in MMA that would bring in extra eyeballs and Pay-Per-View ratings. Now, in 2015, two fighters have emerged as the UFC’s best selling angles: Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey. Rousey is definitely a star now. That is proven by the ratings that UFC 190 received. She was fighting someone who, no disrespect to Correia, had no business stepping inside the Octagon with her. But even though hardcore MMA fans knew that Rousey was a huge mismatch for Correia, people were still willing to pay to watch Rousey fight. That speaks so much about the drawing power that Ronda Rousey possesses. Even if the UFC was desperate enough to sign Cyborg to fight Rousey for PPV ratings, Rousey has proven that she can generate PPV sales on her own to earn herself a huge payday.
The only problem with this is that Rousey has found her own dominance as her worst enemy. Of the top 10 ranked women in the UFC bantamweight division, Rousey has beaten seven, including Miesha Tate twice. Rousey is actually slated to fight Tate for a third time either later this year or the beginning of the next. How long can Rousey convince fans to buy her fights if she’s going to be dominating her peers in under a minute multiple times? However, if rising contenders such as Holm, Nunes, and Eye can work their way to the top, the problem may be solved.
With Rousey’s ability to draw PPV sales, plus her now rising acting career, it seems as though a super-fight with Cyborg may be a fading idea to Rousey. The situation paints a clear picture that shows that Cyborg needs Ronda Rousey way more than Rousey needs Cyborg.