Ronda Rousey ‘Absolutely’ Wants Cris Cyborg UFC Fight, Says Dana White

UFC President Dana White has said former bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey “absolutely, positively wants to fight” Invicta FC featherweight champion Cris Cyborg.

White was asked about the possibility of a highly anticipated clash between the pair by TMZ Sports:

He said: “I can tell you this, Ronda wants to fight Cyborg. Absolutely, positively wants to fight Cyborg, so we’ll see what happens.”

On Rowdy, he added: “She’s getting nasty again, and her head’s in the right place.”

Per Evelyn Rodrigues of Brazilian outlet Globo (h/t MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew), White recently described a potential clash between the two women as a “dream fight,” but suggested Rousey will want to reclaim her bantamweight title and defend it before taking on Cyborg.

The pair have never faced each other in the Octagon but have had an ongoing war of words for a number of years.

Last year, Rousey said she would not be willing to face Cyborg unless she dropped to 135 pounds because of the Brazilian’s positive test for steroids in 2011.

Cyborg—real name Cristiane Justino—subsequently accused Rousey and White of bullying her.

The 31-year-old has faced Leslie Smith and Lina Lansberg in the UFC since May at a catchweight 140 pounds—down from 145 at Invicta—but having struggled to make 141 for the latter fight is only prepared to continue at 140 if she’ll face top-ranked contenders.

She told Fox Sports 1 after beating Lansberg on Saturday (h/t Tristen Critchfield of Sherdog):

If they want me to fight at 140 I can, but they have to be top 10 [opponents]. I never picked opponents. I always let them pick the opponents for me. Anyone in the top 10 at 135 that wants to fight at 140 [I’ll fight]. I’ll do my sacrifice, I’ll cry to make 140… And we’ll make a great fight for the fans. I think that’s what makes MMA grow.

Per Shaheen Al-Shatti of MMA Fighting, she called for Rowdy to help make the fight happen:

It seems likely she’d want a shot at reclaiming her belt upon her return, but a fight with Cyborg—pitting the best submission artist in women’s MMA against the most brutal striker—would arguably be even more popular among fans.