Ahead of her UFC 170 headlining title bout with Sara McMann, women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey can't seem to shake questions about a woman not even competing regularly in MMA. Even with an abbreviated lead up left to sell fans on McMann being a real test for Rousey, quite a bit of talk these past two weeks has centered around Cristiane Justino. And why not? Unanswered questions will always remain until the pair square off, especially if Rousey maintains her dominant streak.
Alas, Rousey, like UFC president Dana White, doesn't sound too interested in booking perhaps the end-all women's MMA fight in the sport's young lifespan.
"She knows she's gonna get beat by me," Rousey tells FOX Sports. "It has to be such an amount of money for her to be able to retire off it. I don't know if that offer is ever going to come."
Tito Ortiz, Justino's now former manager, released a statement this weekend shedding light on past negotiations to bring 'Cyborg' into the UFC, claiming the promotion wanted her for seven fights. White, who last week challenged reporters to defend Justino's claims of being clear of performance enhancing drugs, maintains that she's still a relative unknown, seemingly unworthy of Rousey's concern.
"She's a proven cheater and fraud," Rousey says. "Women's MMA is doing just fantastically without her."
Currently booked to face Jorina Baars Mar. 28 at Lion Fight 14 in Las Vegas, Justino is left to struggle to remain active, having competed in MMA just three times since 2011. With her 2011 crushing victory over Hiroko Yamanaka being overturned for testing positive for stanozolol, a year-long suspension cost her the entire 2012 campaign. Now the Invicta FC featherweight champion after two likewise dominant performances over Fiona Muxlow and Marloes Coenen, it remains unclear if the young promotion can keep Justino busy with compelling challengers, if at all.
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Long read. Shaun Al-Shatti's latest takes us on Sean Salmon's sad journey to redemption.
Dana White UFC 170 vlog.
Rousey at the Gracie Academy.
Highlights from Pancrase 256.
Pros pick between Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann.
Quick technique breakdown of Tyrone Spong.
Fedor Emelianenko dancing at his wedding. He divorced wife No. 2 and remarried wife No. 1.
Now it's fight week.
Last day before leaving for Vegas .... pic.twitter.com/6UhSwbCgj5— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) February 17, 2014
Patrick is in over his head. I've done this before. I've made this walk. He hasn't, he can't beat me.... http://t.co/ssETz0Uvud— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) February 17, 2014
Support for Quarry.
Really cool to get some support from fighters who request to be anonymous for obvious reasons. I'll speak for you until you can join me.— Nathan Quarry (@NateRockQuarry) February 18, 2014
@MikeCies eh. That's fine. Either way. I love Dana and the UFC. I just love the fighters too and will speak for those that can't.— Nathan Quarry (@NateRockQuarry) February 18, 2014
Praying for The Spider's return.
Obrigado a todos o atletas da XGym ... http://t.co/Y6hZGmQ2Cl— Anderson Silva (@SpiderAnderson) February 17, 2014
Scouting gyms? Or just seeing the fancy LA doctor?
Working to try and get full flag extension. Core strength at its maximum. Give me another week. pic.twitter.com/UxPTHdcnLk— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) February 18, 2014
Quite a few dogs tweets.
I was feeling a bit frustrated about the long road its gona be to get back in the ring and Marciano... http://t.co/wxYFkprSo4— phil baroni (@philbaroni) February 18, 2014
WTF!?! What should I do with this dog??? Lol... That tenuous line between hate and... http://t.co/R48OOoKj93— Gesias JZ Cavalcante (@Gesias) February 18, 2014
Quinton Jackson (@Rampage4real) February 18, 2014
Hope everyone had a great Valentine Weekend:) pic.twitter.com/xXNA3T8wJ7— Joseph Benavidez (@JoeJitsu) February 18, 2014
Announced yesterday (Feb. 17 2014)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via Da Headbanger.
It seems on every prelim card there seems to be a fight with a Top 10 fighter in any one of the divisions involved to give them some form of relevancy. This one seems to be an exception... but in a good way. Three of these fights feature potential title challengers within the next year and two of those aforementioned fights (depending on the outcome of course) may have its winner getting ready for a title shot for their next fight.
So while there are some fights with more at stake than others on the main card (it'll be a fun fight... but Robert Whitaker and Stephen Thompson?), there are also some very (and I do mean very) exciting prospects making their UFC debuts. Don't want to look dumb? I got ya covered. Just keep reading and you'll find out what you need to know.
A high stakes fight that could produce the next challenger to the women's bantamweight throne. I suppose the only reason it didn't make the main card is the UFC didn't want two women's fight on the main card. Only thing I can reason. Now if only everyone could pay attention to this fight and not what the TSAC did or didn't find in Eye's system after her fight with Sarah Kaufman...
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.