UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz, on Friday night’s episode of Inside MMA, said that he was told the UFC had offered Invicta FC featherweight champ Cris “Cyborg” Justino a fight with Ronda Rousey at an event planned for AT&T Stadium in Dallas in December. Twenty-four hours later, UFC president Dana White told MMAWeekly.com content partner Yahoo! Sprots that Ortiz’s comments were “a complete lie.”
“I’ve heard from Cris, actually… that they offered the (Rousey) fight to Cris. I know her management said yes. I’ve told her, ‘Let’s do it.’ So, I guess, the ball is all in Ronda’s corner,” Ortiz told Ron Kruck and Bas Rutten on Inside MMA. “Ronda wants to do it. Dana said if Cris comes down to 135, he’ll make the fight happen. Let’s see if Ronda accepts the fight.”
White has admittedly been working on a UFC pay-per-view event for Dec. 5 in the stadium in Dallas, but thus far has been trying to put it together with twin bill featuring Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate. He’s long wanted to do a Rousey vs. Cyborg bout, but says that an offer has not been made.
“That was a complete lie,” White told Yahoo! Sprots. “It’s 100 percent a lie. First of all, the UFC doesn’t even talk to Tito Ortiz, so let’s start there. But we haven’t offered any fight to [Justino]. Tito Ortiz is just making this [expletive] up. In no way, shape or form did we offer her a fight against Ronda at Cowboys Stadium. Completely untrue.
“The problem is, this kind of thing gets out there and picks up momentum when there is no truth to it. And it was just something that he decided to make up. But it’s not true.”
Cyborg herself took White to task on Twitter over his response, saying, “I’m not lying nor is Tito- UFC called my manager last Sunday to see if I would fight Ronda at 135 on December 5 at…”
I’m not lying nor is Tito- UFC called my manager last Sunday to see if I would fight Ronda at 135 on December 5 at… http://t.co/pF2VJdRuEU
— Cris Cyborg (@criscyborg) August 8, 2015
Of course, it’s certainly possible that there were exploratory talks that were misinterpreted by Cyborg as an offer, but it’s highly unlikely that the UFC would have made an offer foregoing its previous requirement that Cyborg make 135 pounds and take a fight prior to entering the Octagon with Rousey.
The temptation, of course, has to be there, as White himself has said that he believes Rousey vs. Cyborg would likely top 2.5 million pay-per-view buys, making it the biggest UFC pay-per-view event in the company’s history.