What's next for Cris Cyborg? She isn't counting on Ronda Rousey

Cris Cyborg waits for the bell during a women's featherweight title bout against Yana Kunitskaya during UFC 222 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on March 3, 2018.
Cris Cyborg waits for the bell during a women's featherweight title bout against Yana Kunitskaya during UFC 222 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on March 3, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (WASHINGTON POST) - Cyborg and Rousey. Rousey and Cyborg.

A bout of some sort between Cris "Cyborg" Justino, who scored a first-round TKO victory over Yana Kunitskaya in UFC 222, and Rousey, the former UFC champion, might be an exciting prospect, but Cyborg is not holding her breath.

Rousey is now wrestling in WWE and Cyborg, who successfully defended her featherweight title on Saturday night (March 3) in Las Vegas, doubts that the two, who never fought in MMA competition, will face each other, either in the Octagon or in a ring.

"If she don't fight (me) in MMA, I don't think she's gonna agree (to) fight (me) in WWE," Cyborg told TMZ Sports on the eve of UFC 222.

Rousey, a UFC superstar, was the UFC women's bantamweight champion until November 2015 when she was stunned in a knockout loss to Holly Holm.

She returned for a title shot against Amanda Nunes in December 2016, but was knocked out in 48 seconds. She made the transition to WWE in late January.

"I believe that she will be happy in WWE, and it's completely different from the reality of MMA," Cyborg told MMA Fighting at the time.

"For an example, wins and losses are decided before the shows."

Oof. Rousey, for her part, has not sounded as if she will be baited by either words or money into a fight. She also has not said whether she is retired from MMA or judo, the sport in which she won an Olympic bronze medal in 2008.

"They (WWE) have first priority on my life the next couple years," she told ESPN in January, adding that money is not the biggest issue for her.

"This is not a smash and grab."

In December, Cyborg seemed ready to give WWE a try.

"I think Ronda Rousey in the WWE would be an amazing thing," Cyborg told FloCombat at that time.

"I just recently attended my first WWE event live when RAW was in (Los Angeles) filming and I absolutely loved the experience. If she really is done fighting and not returning to the UFC, I think the idea of a WWE match between us for the fans is still something everyone could get excited about...That seems like a pretty natural story line to WrestleMania if you ask me. I know 70,000 fans who would still be willing to pack a stadium to see Cyborg v Rousey even if it took place in a three-rope ring instead of a cage."