While Ronda Rousey’s loss at UFC 193 may have squandered Cris “Cyborg” Justino’s chances of competing in a blockbuster bout for the UFC’s women’s bantamweight title, it may have opened the door for a UFC contest in a more desired weight class.
Newly crowned UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm, who competed in a variety of different weight classes during her days as a professional boxer, sees no problem with meeting “Cyborg” halfway to set up a potential fight.
“I know with the UFC, they don’t have [a featherweight division],” Holm said to MMA Fighting earlier this month. “So, if that was something that they were going to put together, I’m not against it. I’m open to it.”
Justino traditionally competes at 145 pounds, but often said she would attempt to cut down to 135 in hopes of securing a bout with the most popular MMA fighter on the planet. She had plans of making the cut down to 140 in a catchweight bout at Invicta FC 15 in January, but decided to put prospective bantamweight plans on hold after seeing Rousey lose in November.
While a bout against Holm may not be quite as profitable as the one she could have had with Rousey, the fact that Holm is willing to do away with all of Rousey’s prior reservations against moving up in weight eliminates a major obstacle for the relatively large featherweight.
“I’m not against options for other fights,” Holm said. “I don’t know how high I would go. I have fought at heavier weights in boxing. It kind of changes things with MMA, because there’s wrestling. Boxing, I think, is a little different, because you’re not dealing with somebody’s strength and weight on you as far as wrestling and grappling. But I do feel like I’m a bigger 135er. I don’t know. I guess I would just have to see if whatever would unfold if that was an option.”