For years, the MMA community demanded a collision between Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg, two of the most dominant women in MMA history. It was a dream match-up where each woman may have been the truest test to the other; a match-up between two legacies. But then, November 2015 happened.
That month, at UFC 193, Holly Holm knocked out Ronda Rousey, ending Rousey’s undefeated streak and title run as UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, a title she held since the UFC brought in women’s fighters in 2013, following the closure of Strikeforce. After that bout, Rousey fought just once more — a 46-second knockout loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 207 last December. Now that Rousey has seemed to move on to the WWE, Rousey vs. Cyborg looks to be just a dream match.
But for Cyborg, all is not a lost. Cyborg, now the UFC women’s featherweight champion and with a new UFC deal, will defend her title against Holm at UFC 219 next month. On a recent edition of The MMA Hour, Cyborg said that a win over Holm, by logic, would seal her place in history as better than Rousey.
“I think when I fight with Holly and beat Holly, I’m gonna beat Ronda at the same time. Everybody that follows my career knows how much I did for this fight to happen, and didn’t happen. I think if I beat Holly I’m gonna beat Ronda the same day. I feel like that because Holly fought Ronda, and when this fight happened, [UFC President] Dana [White] said if Ronda beat Holly, [her] next fight would be Cyborg, and then Holly stopped Ronda before. Just people think about, simple.”
In preparation for her match-up with Holm, an expert boxer, Cyborg has been training with boxing veteran Mia St. John, who faced off with Holm in 2005. Cyborg is 3-0 in the UFC, scoring victories over Leslie Smith, Lina Lansberg and Tonya Evinger. Holm, meanwhile, snapped a three-fight losing streak with a win over Bethe Correia back in June.
“I think it’s gonna be great fight, but I think she had so much boxing fights, I think she had a lot of punches, and one thing when I fight her, she will feel the difference with my punch. She punched a lot of girls at 135 and I have the time to recover my body after [fighting at] 140, getting my punch again. I think it’s a great fight.”
You can watch the full interview with Cyborg and Ariel Helwani in the video player above.