Robert Herrick famously wrote, “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, old time is still a-flying. And this same flower that smiles today, tomorrow will be dying.”
If Ronda Rousey doesn’t get the gist of Herrick’s poem, former UFC light heavyweight champ turned manager Tito Ortiz (Pictured) would like to clarify: Rousey better enjoy her UFC bantamweight crown while she can, because it will be a thing of the past once Cristiane “Cybog” Santos gets her hands on the “Rowdy” one.
“Ronda is a great champion,” Ortiz stated on FUEL TV’s UFC Tonight. “She has a great name. Her attitude completely changed. And I guess when the spotlight is on you, you shine a little more and she deserves all the fame she has right now because when she fights Cyborg, she will no longer have the title.”
Of course, there’s the minor formality of Cyborg claiming she is physically unable to shed the 10 additional pounds required to drop to Rousey’s bantamweight division. While Ortiz acknowledges his client’s difficult plight, he knows the transition is not out of the question. And once they can get the former Strikeforce featherweight champ’s weight under wraps, fans can expect to see the most anticipated female fight in women’s MMA.
“When I first signed her she told me, ‘I can’t go down to 135 [pounds] because I walk around at 170 – 172. As a women it’s hard to cut down. And, it sounds like a disadvantage for me to cut down so much since I am a champion fighter.’ I think it is way too soon to say and I don’t want to hurt my fighters, and she is still the champion.
“Last year she took some substances given to her by her trainers that she didn’t know about that got her in trouble, but I am going to put my stamp and my name on her and make sure she doesn’t get involved in those things again and make her a better fighter. It is going to be tough for her to get down to 135. At 145, she is shredded and to get ten extra pounds off is difficult. If she can cut the weight in a healthy way and the doctor can approve it, then let’s see the fight happen.”
Cyborg’s year-long steroid suspension expired on December 17th. No word if the 27-year-old has tried to reapply for licensing. Regardless, she won’t be signed by the UFC unless she can compete in the 135-pound division.
Rousey, meanwhile, makes her big league debut against Liz Carmouche at UFC 157. The February 23rd event marks the first time two ladies have headlined an Octagon show.