Ronda Rousey Sees Kaufman, Cyborg and McMann as Great Challenges Still Ahead

March 20, 2012
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Ronda Rousey Strikeforce
Now that Ronda Rousey is sitting on top of the world after her victory of Miesha Tate, the question has to be asked: Will there be enough contenders to challenge her over time?

The greatest champions in sports have always had a rival or rivals to push them to the next level.

The Boston Celtics had the Los Angeles Lakers. The New York Yankees have the Boston Red Sox. Even in MMA, Anderson Silva has Chael Sonnen looming overhead.

UFC president Dana White, who has admitted he is a huge fan of Rousey, still believes the women’s division is too shallow to truly present the kind of challenges that she needs to push her to the next level or maintain a worthy division over time.

“I think Ronda Rousey is unbelievable and I think she’s gonna be a huge star. But unfortunately, I think she’s gonna end up being a Lucia Rijker of our sport. She’s so nasty, I just think there’s not enough competition out there for her to really test her and really have her showcase in some great fights,” White said recently.

For Ronda Rousey, however, there seem to be fewer options, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some worthy contenders still standing in line.

While the gold belt is still newly minted around her waist, Rousey still keeps a positive outlook. She believes that by the time she goes through the challenges that still remain in her division, plenty of other female mixed martial artists can develop into championship contenders.

“Oh yeah, I definitely think there is. There’s already that story background between me and Sarah Kaufman, and how everyone thinks she should have got the title shot and this fight needs to happen. And whenever Cris Cyborg comes back, that fight would be great to happen, and then there’s other girls like Sara McMann, who is an Olympic medalist in wrestling, would be the only new person coming in that would be easy to build up a fight,” Rousey told MMAWeekly Radio.

“After that, that’s a good amount of time that would go by and there would be a lot more opportunities coming up around then. I’m not worried.”

One name that obviously came up was former Strikeforce 145-pound women’s champion Cris “Cyborg” Santos, who is currently serving a one-year suspension after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs following her last bout.

Santos teased before the suspension that she was going to attempt a cut down to 135 pounds, but when she comes back, that’s almost what she’s going to have to do because there may not be a 145-pound division to inhabit.

While Rousey competed at 145 pounds when she first arrived on the MMA scene, now that she’s down at bantamweight, it’s a comfortable place and it’s where she serves as champion.

When Cyborg comes back, Rousey says she needs to find a new weight class because her choices are limited otherwise.

“She’s the one that has fewer options. She’s the one that just got popped for steroids and has an empty division,” said Rousey. “I think the smartest idea for her would be to be like, ‘Look, I’m off steroids. I proved that I’m off and I can cut down to a lower division. I’m going to have to cut down to a lower division anyways cause who the hell am I going to fight at 145?'”

And lest we forget a potential rematch down the road with old rival Miesha Tate.

Rousey and Tate put on one of the most entertaining fights of the year thus far, and had by far the biggest bout in women’s MMA since Gina Carano exited the sport to hone her acting chops.

“I just do whatever I’ve got to do. If people want to see it, then I’ll do it, but I wouldn’t feel bad about beating her up again,” Rousey said about a rematch with Tate. “I’m not going to go out of my way if it’s not in the best interest of my career at that moment.”

Right now, Rousey is still enjoying the fruits of her victory before she heads back to training and awaits the call from Strikeforce with the official word on her next bout.

Check out the full interview of Ronda Rousey as she goes one-on-one with MMAWeekly Radio and there’s even a guest appearance from the Most Interesting Man in all of MMA.

Follow @DamonMartin on Twitter or e-mail Damon Martin.
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  • maddawgmar

    I like Rousey, I think she has the potential to be one of the greatest womens MMA fighters. She needs to evolve, get a solid striking coach and learn technique standing up. There is nobody that can clinch like her, but there are women who can hang on the ground with her. Change teams, because if you have already accomplished more in five fights than your team has in their careers, then it’s time to leave. Maybe Extreme Couture or Jackson MMA would be a good fit. Sky is the limit for her, but she has to take the right path.

  • alhmiel

    Rousey is good not much stand up but destroys plain Jane Sara kaufman the bland dull unexciting boorish canadian wimp. But Cyborg destroys Rousey and hurts her badly. The man Cyborg should be avoided at all costs. Cyborg is a guy and a good body check should determine that plus the chemicals that made Cyborg a steroid induced drug made machine. Rousey should never fight Cyborg ever.

    • johnnybooker

      Please take the aluminum foil hat off and quit obsessing over Cyborg’s physique and Kaufman’s looks.

      • alhmiel

        Kaufman just doesn’t have any looks or appeal and Cyborg is a chemically induced guy. Not sure which is worse to look at.

  • Cptmats

    Cyborg will punch a hole through her head.

  • alhmiel

    Rousey is the only thing that is keeping the woman on TV. If Rousey goes away it’s over. crooked nose Tate-Plain Jane Sara and the man Cyborg couldn’t sell a ticket anywhere.

  • yawyanfighter

    Ronda Rousey has all the potential to becoming the greatest women MMA fighter same with Gina Carano. Both girls has charms, skills and appeal to the crowds. Two thumbs up to Ronda Rousey.

  • Strikeforce women divisions are farces, the Bellator women flyweights division is by far more competitive …

    the best for WMMA is the 52kg (115lb) division of the Jewels promotion … all the best females fighters are there …