How close is what could be one of the biggest women's mixed martial arts fights of all-time to being made? According to UFC President Dana White, things are heating up.
White spoke to the media at the UFC on FX 5 post-fight press conference in Minneapolis, Minn. on Friday and when asked about the state of a potential bout between women's Strikeforce bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and former women's Strikeforce featherweight champion Cyborg Santos, White hinted at his active involvement in trying to make the fight happen. He also suggested progress was being made.
"I think we are," White said with a wry smile Friday answering whether the bout was getting closer to being made. "You've been seeing me hanging around with Ronda a lot. So, I'm working on it."
White declined to give any potential details of the fight, including a timeline, weight class and whether the bout would take place in Strikeforce or the UFC.
Rousey has publicly stated were the bout to happen, it'd need to take place at her weight class, namely, bantamweight or 135 pounds. Santos, by contrast, has suggested she cannot cut to any weight below 145 pounds.
While there's been no public, firm commitment to any formal plan, White has expressed interest in hosting a Rousey bout in the UFC over her normal promotional home of Strikeforce. He's even gone as far as suggesting a potential Rousey vs. Cyborg bout could headline a UFC pay-per-view.
Rousey was in attendance for UFC on FX 5, but did publicly address or speak about any updates on a potential bout with Santos.
Santos, however, is currently unable to fight even if a landmark deal with Rousey and Zuffa were reached. She last competed in December of 2011 at Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Masvidal where she defeated Hiroko Yamanaka by first-round TKO. The bout was subsequently overturned and she was stripped of her Strikeforce title for testing positive for stanozolol. She was fined $2,500 and suspended one year by the California State Athletic Commission.