It was the biggest fight to never happen in the women’s UFC scene: Ronda Rousey vs Cris “Cyborg” Justino. Going back over five years, the potential Rousey vs Cyborg bout was something that every few months popped up, but it never quite came to fruition as while both parties seemed to want the bout, neither was willing to change their weight class (Cyborg wouldn’t move down and Rousey wouldn’t move up) to make it work. And while Ronda Rousey has moved on to WWE, Cris Cyborg, still an active MMA fighter and the one who always seemed to push just a little bit harder for the fight, has yet to give up the chance that this dream match could one day happen, even if it is in a wrestling not MMA ring.
Recently, Cyborg stoked the flame again, sending out a tweet that showed a photoshopped image of her standing next to Rousey, with the caption, “Let me make wrestling real again Ronnie!”
— #CyborgNationAfrica video link in bio (@criscyborg) March 14, 2019
This was not the first time that Cris Cyborg, who herself has been linked to WWE in recent months and was spotted at the Performance Center in February, has made overtures about fighting Rousey in a wrestling ring. About a year ago, Cyborg told MMA Fighting, “[Rousey] can do whatever she wants in WWE, they decide what happens beforehand…I think Ronda’s biggest fear was losing to me, so if we were to do it in WWE she would have to win. I don’t have such a big ego, but if we were to put on a show for the fans, something like that, no problem. I know what would happen in a real fight.”
Again, this isn’t the first time either that Cris Cyborg has mentioned the predetermined nature of WWE’s fights, telling MMA Fighting in January 2018, shortly after it was announced Rousey had signed with WWE, that she thought it was a better fit for the former undefeated star and her psyche. “I believe that she will be happy in WWE, and it’s completely different from the reality of MMA,” Cyborg said. “For an example, wins and losses are decided before the shows.”
A few months before that, Cyborg had this to say: “If Ronda wants to come back for a fight, I believe it’s better for her to fight Miesha Tate. I’m in another stage of my career. I wanted to fight Ronda when she was psychologically well and confident. Now, if she wants to make a good fight for the fans, we can make it at WWE. Her coach would fit perfectly in her corner in WWE, he’s nothing but a joke.”
Then there was this, from this past June.
Thanks ! I’ll let you know #ChampsHelpingChamps
— Lexi Kaufman (@AlexaBliss_WWE) June 21, 2018
And this in November.
— #CyborgNationAfrica video link in bio (@criscyborg) November 20, 2018
And then, in December, while not wrestling related, Cris Cyborg took yet another dig at her would-be opponent:
Make no mistake, unlike with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, there is very real animosity and disdain between these two fighters, so much so that a report emerged a month ago that Rousey, whose WWE contract is up in 2021, was refusing to re-sign with the company if they brought Cyborg aboard and into the storyline. Now, that rumor has in no way been substantiated, but it at least has an air of believability due to the real beef between Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg.
When Rousey first came to WWE in January 2018, debuting at the Royal Rumble and pointing at the WrestleMania sign, her character was that of a fan, someone who was just happy to share the ring with such an incredible locker room. It didn’t take long for Rousey to win the women’s championship and begin her slow heel turn shortly after. For months, Rousey began to show just a little more aggression, just a little more disdain for her opponents as she proclaimed herself as carrying the Raw women’s division on her back.
The trigger on the turn was fully pulled a few weeks ago as Ronda Rousey cut a scathing promo telling the fans she no longer cared what they thought and no longer wanted to pretend. Saying that she would break Charlotte or Becky’s noses by so much as sneezing in their direction. Rousey’s actions backed up her words as she assaulted both Flair and Lynch in the ensuing weeks and made her presence felt at Fastlane to set up the WrestleMania 35 triple threat, likely main event of herself, Flair and Lynch.
— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) March 9, 2019
Since fully turning heel, Rousey’s best performances may actually be on social media, where over the past few weeks, she has ripped apart fans and her two Fastlane competitors, doing so in fourth wall breaking ways and through other methods that some have said go too far in “exposing the business.”
Funny enough, Ronda Rousey’s most recent tweet, in which she said, “Becky is a joke. Charlotte is a joke. Anyone who believes in this whole charade is a joke,” somewhat echoes back to prior comments by Cris Cyborg who used the same word, “joke” when referring to why Rousey and her real-life manager belonged in the WWE.
With Ronda Rousey embracing the attitude that wrestling is scripted, calling it “made up” and “not real” as well as calling fans “marks,” her new character strongly resembles what Cyborg has been saying all along. Right now, it seems Cris Cyborg has no intent to leave the world of real sports anytime soon, as she has aspirations to become a female Conor McGregor of sorts, trying her hand at boxing as well as MMA. That hasn’t stopped her from trolling Rousey however and doing her best to get under the Raw women’s champion’s perceived soft skin.
Perhaps one day, these two will fight and if they do, expect it to be as “shoot” as it gets.