For the past few days debate has raged surrounding the specifics of a potential fight between top female fighters Ronda Rousey and Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos. Rousey’s camp has remained adamant about the clash coming at 135 pounds where “Rowdy Ronda” currently holds the Strikeforce title, while Santos has stated she can’t afford to cut weight and has to compete at featherweight where she previously owned promotional gold. While the ten-pound differential may seem like a small matter to many, the gap between the weights actually appears wide enough to keep the two from ever meeting inside the cage.
While it’s understandable why each woman wants to fight at the mark she is most comfortable with, at the end of the day the onus falls on Santos to make the match-up happen if she ever hopes to regain her legitimacy and her excuses about not being able to slim down simply don’t hold weight.
The reality is Santos could absolutely cut to 135 pounds if she genuinely wanted to. She is not particularly tall or lanky. Rather, as made perfectly clear by her sculpted physique, her weight comes from muscle mass and that’s no more difficult to reduce than it is to increase. By changing her diet and working out in different ways, as she should have been doing for the past eight months while suspended, bantamweight is an easily achievable mark. Would she lose some explosiveness as a result? Absolutely, but her technique and aggressive approach in the cage wouldn’t change. In truth, the difference would be minimal at most.
Rousey is champion, not Santos. She is a budding star, not Santos. And her reputation is 100% clean, not Santos’. She has also been actively competing over the past 18 months, unlike “Cyborg who has a single fight in the time since Rousey made her professional debut and that was her “No Contest” in December (previously a win overturned after she was found to have anabolic steroids in her system).
Santos may not be afraid of fighting Rousey but she’s apparently afraid of what comes with it and that’s the type of hard work she’s skated around for the bulk of her career, beating up smaller opponents. Rousey isn’t about to be another victim and rightfully so.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE