Cris “Cyborg” Justino and Ronda Rousey were never too fond of one another.
A super-fight between the two all-time greats was something fans fantasized about for years as the two went from Strikeforce to the UFC. However, it never came to fruition.
In 2021, a new master judoka has emerged and taken the spot that Rousey would have filled against a competitor of Cyborg’s caliber. Two-time Olympic gold medalist, Kayla Harrison is already 11-0 and faced little to no resistance.
“I was supposed to fight Ronda Rousey before and I was training for a camp,” Cyborg told MMA Fighting. “The first thing you train in judo is learn to fall. Because when you’re going to fight judo, maybe you’re going to fall yes, but you have to know what to do after.
“I believe Ronda Rousey was more dangerous than Kayla. Her transitions were fast, her technique was fast and I know [Kayla] got a gold medal in the Olympics. But I think it’s a different level about the speed, about the transitions for the submissions.”
While Cris Cyborg reigns supreme as the Bellator featherweight champion, Kayla Harrison is one fight away from collecting another million-dollar payday in the PFL lightweight tournament finals. The Olympian faces Taylor Guardado on Oct. 27 — after that, she’s free to test the MMA waters.
“I think it’s going to be a great fight for me,” Cyborg said of the hypothetical matchup with Harrison. “She don’t need to come in at 145 [pounds], we can fight at 155. She said [it was] the last fight on her contract too. I saw and I believe maybe she’s going to sign with the UFC, but she can make more money than Amanda Nunes in PFL.
“I don’t know if it’s going to be worth [it], but maybe we can do one fight, champion vs. champion. Scott Coker can be my co-promoter, maybe in the future. It’s a great fight.”