Former UFC featherweight champion, Cris Cyborg has speculated that the goal of her fighting former bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey was never shared by the organization despite her signing with the promotion – claiming that maybe they intended to protect Rousey from the bout.
Cyborg, a former UFC, Invicta FC, and Strikeforce featherweight champion – is the current Bellator MMA featherweight queen, most recently turning in her fourth successful title defense with a unanimous decision win over Arlene Blewcowe in the pair’s Bellator 279 rematch in April.
Boasting a 26-2(1) professional record, Cyborg, a native of Curitiba, Brazil – enjoyed a mostly splendid UFC tenure from 2016 to 2019 – landing a record of 6-1 in seven fights with the Dana White-led promotion – with her sole loss coming opposite compatriot, Amanda Nunes.
Landing in the promotion’s Octagon seven months prior to Rousey’s final mixed martial arts fight against common-foe, the above mentioned, Nunes – Cyborg had long been linked with a super fight against the Californian bantamweight, however, a pairing failed to ever materialize.
Cris Cyborg has laid out some theories regarding her failed super fight with Ronda Rousey
Sharing her thoughts on the failed pairing against Rousey, Cyborg laid out a few reasons why a matchup failed to ever come to fruition, suggesting the promotion may have intended to shield Rousey from the fight.
“In the beginning, when [I signed with the UFC], I think they (the UFC) knew it was something I wanted for me to sign with them,” Cris Cyborg said on The MMA Hour of a fight against Ronda Rousey. “But now if I stop and think about it, I think it was never the goal. I think it was never the goal to make this fight happen. Because they (the UFC) had this opportunity.”
“They had this opportunity to make this fight,” Cris Cyborg said. “Maybe they were protecting her (Ronda Rousey), maybe she didn’t want to fight and you cannot force her, but I think it was never the goal.” (Transcribed by MMA Fighting)
In her final Octagon outing back in 2019, Cyborg rebounded from her featherweight title loss to Nunes with a unanimous decision victory against the now-retired, one-time title challenger, Felicia Spencer in the co-main event of UFC 240 in July of that year.