Now that Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino is officially a UFC fighter with a fight booked against Leslie Smith at UFC 198 in May, she already has her eye on a potential showdown with her long-time rival, Ronda Rousey.
“Since [Rousey] is no longer the champ, and I am officially in the UFC, I do not see any reason why the fight between us can’t happen.” Cyborg told TMZ Sports.
“I realize Holly Holm kicked her into retirement, but maybe after [UFC 198] we could settle the feud in New York when the UFC comes to Madison Square Garden.”
That being said, ‘Cyborg’ is mindful that she has to get past Smith first, and she suggests that she’s going to get the job done inside the distance in her native Curitiba, Brazil on May 14th.
“Leslie is a very tough girl, most of her fights end by decision. I don’t know if it will be a KO or submission, but I do know it will be worthy of a UFC performance bonus from Dana White.”
If she is able to overcome Smith, and many people believe she will – assuming she can successfully cut down to the 140lb catchweight limit – then a battle with Rousey in New York City would certainly be a huge draw, but it’s doubtful whether that would be the fight ‘Rowdy’ would opt for at this stage.
After her KO loss to Holly Holm it’s more likely that Rousey will either be looking for a rematch, or perhaps even more likely, a trilogy fight with Miesha Tate, assuming she’s still holding the belt at that stage.
The chances of us seeing Rousey fight someone at Madison Square Garden seem reasonably high though if she does stick to her original plan of returning in October or Novemeber, as Lorenzo Fertitta stated after MMA was finally legalized in the state that they intend to go to the arena in the fourth quarter of 2016.