After a stunning loss at UFC 207, Ronda Rousey says she needs to do some soul searching before deciding the fate of her career. LeBron James and others have spoken out to offer Rousey advice as she reflects on her future, and even a rival within her sport might be willing to help.
As Rousey dispatched opponent after opponent before her back-to-back losses to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes, the challenge that loomed on the horizon was a superfight with Cris Cyborg, a 145-pound champion in Strikeforce and Invicta FC. Cyborg’s coach, Jason Parillo, told the Extra Rounds podcast that a potential superfight will never come to fruition, but that Cyborg might be able to help Rousey climb back to the top of the 135-pound division.
“They could train together, now. Cris could help Ronda improve,” Parillo said. “I wouldn’t mind seeing Ronda come down and work with Cris a little bit. If you ask me, that fight’s over.
“That fight was just holding on by a string as it was because, if you ask me, Ronda was never going to agree to that fight. Even if she would have blown this Amanda Nunes away. I mean, maybe it would have given her confidence to take on Cris. But really? No.”
The UFC is adding a women’s featherweight division and the inaugural championship bout is slated for UFC 208. Given that incentive to move up in weight, a future superfight between Rousey and a 145-pound champion seemed destined. That fight could have been the coveted Rousey-Cyborg bout, but Parillo thinks there’s no chance of that happening now.
“If Ronda is a hungry fighter and still wants to prove to be the competitor and athlete that she is, she’s got plenty of time to come back and do that,” Parillo said.
“It’s hard to see them ever matching up. They couldn’t get it together before the [Nunes] fight. This just set [Ronda] back a whole lifetime. I’d like to see Cris be the title holder at 145, I’d like to see Ronda do well at 135.”
According to Parillo, the superfight for Cyborg will be with bantamweight champion Nunes.
“We’re talking about a girl that’s just been knocked out, twice. Cris is … dominating her division. The hype for [Ronda vs. Cris] is starting to tilt away, I think,” Parillo said. “I think they’ll be more hype for Amanda Nunes vs. Cris Cyborg."