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Image via Zimbio

Why is Ronda Rousey Fighting Miesha Tate AGAIN? Is Rousey vs. Cyborg the New Mayweather vs. Pacquiao?

Image via Zimbio

Image via Zimbio

Having required a mere 64 seconds total to easily dispatch of her last three opponents, UFC fighter Ronda Rousey remains undefeated at 12-0. The bantamweight champion has been making it look easy too—only three fights in her career have lasted over a minute.

Despite her penchant for embarrassing the opposition, every woman in the sport (and one psychotic ex-NFL player) is desperate for a piece of Rousey, confident she is the one who can dethrone the queen. Actually, considering how overmatched most have been, it’s more about glomming on to Rousey’s celebrity than seriously challenging her physically.

Take Rousey’s latest victim, previously undefeated Bethe Correia. If bluster and bravado counted for anything, the Brazilian big mouth wouldn’t have been knocked out in 34 seconds. Correia spent months poking the bear; at one point saying her victory would drive Rousey to suicide. A pretty low blow considering Rousey’s father took his own life.

The before and after photos

The before and after photos

As she is known to do, Rousey did most of her talking in the octagon and after. Throwing a little post-fight shade when asked what she said to Correia in the ring: “I said the exact same thing she was saying to me at weigh-ins; she was screaming in my face … saying, ‘Don’t cry.’ So, I turned around after I knocked her out and said, ‘Don’t cry.’”

Despite being wholly dominated and knocked out, it took Correia exactly three days to publicly declare her desire for a rematch, once again insisting she is still the biggest threat to unseat Rousey. Someone tell this broad to take a number—including Sara McMann and Cat Zingano, Correia is the third former opponent to call for a Rousey rematch this week.

As it turns out, Rousey’s next fight in will be a rematch, but it won’t be with any one of them. The UFC has confirmed that Rousey will fight Miesha Tate in December for the third time. Much has been made of the supposed rivalry between the two women, which used to be incredibly hostile and genuinely entertaining.

These days, however, the bad blood between them seems to have faded. Following Rousey’s recent fight, Tate said she actually sympathized with her because Correia had “overstepped some personal boundaries.” She also said Correia “got what was coming to her” and that she wasn’t “that good” to begin with. Continuing the love-fest, recently Rousey said that Tate remains “one of [her] greatest challenges.”

Image via Zimbio

Image via Zimbio

This marks a decidedly different tone, particularly for Rousey, who in May quite accurately asserted that Tate has “made a career” of getting beat up by her. Maybe this is just Rousey doing her part to hype and legitimize a fight that shouldn’t even be happening. We already know how this story ends because trilogies are predictable—the first one is good, the second one is over-hyped and usually a big disappointment, and the third is a complete waste of time.

So why is UFC president Dana White force-feeding us a lame rerun when Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino has said she would will drop a weight class, two if necessary, to challenge Rousey? Nobody wants to see dainty speed bump Miesha “Cupcake” Tate embarrass herself for a third time—Rousey vs. Cyborg is the fight we’re all clamoring for.

Before she was slapped with a one-year suspension for a positive steroid test in January 2012, Cyborg was easily the most dominant woman in MMA. Since losing the very first (and only) fight of her career by submission in 2005, Cyborg is a perfect 14-0. It took her just 45 seconds to dispatch her first two opponents of 2015 via TKO.

Image via Zimbio

Image via Zimbio

Right now Rousey is so overwhelmingly dominant that many believe Cyborg is the only legitimate threat to seriously challenge her. Perhaps that’s why Rousey and White have been so cagey about the possibility of a fight. When Cyborg’s former co-manager and wrestling coach, former UFC fighter Tito Ortiz, said she had been offered the December fight, White immediately shut down the claim and was adamant no such offer was ever extended.

For her part, Rousey has been equally and uncharacteristically vague about the possibility of the only fight we all truly want to see actually happening. That’s not to say she’s above taking pot shots at Cyborg. When asked what the future holds, Rousey said, “I fight in the UFC 135-pound division. She can fight 145 pumped full of steroids, and she can make weight just like everybody else without ‘em.”

Truth be told, Cyborg hasn’t done much to advance her cause either. And no, lying about being offered the fight in December doesn’t count. Neither does this:

https://instagram.com/p/6HcMIFhUGC/

Nearly two years have gone by since Cyborg first announced her intention to get down to 135. Instead of even attempting to drop weight, she’s been trying to bait Rousey into moving up and fighting at catchweight instead of bantamweight. Apparently Cyborg and Ortiz don’t realize that White and Rousey have all the leverage and they have next to none.

The stunt Ortiz pulled by falsely announcing Rousey vs. Cyborg was officially was completely bush league and did nothing to further their cause. If they thought the momentum of an announcement alone would be enough to force Rousey to acquiesce to the fight on anyone’s terms but her own, well then you have to wonder just how much Team Cyborg is underestimating Team Rousey.

Also not helping to speed this process along is Cyborg’s threat to pursue legal action against Rousey, claiming the steroids remark went beyond standard trash-talk and into defamation territory. It’s hard to imagine Rousey agreeing to a fight with someone suing her for slander.

Threats aside, it wasn’t the first time Rousey has hit Cyborg on the steroids issue, and it’s unlikely to be the last. Especially when the person making the threats doesn’t have a legal foot to stand on. Slander, by definition, has to be blatantly false and demonstratively damaging. Nothing she said was technically untrue.

Seriously, when did these jagoffs become best friends?

Seriously, when did these jagoffs become best friends?

Given Rousey’s unwillingness to yield even the slightest bit of ground, and Cyborg’s unwillingness to do anything but run her mouth, Rousey vs. Cyborg is starting to feel like the new Mayweater vs. Pacquiao. Both sides have dug in their heals, each accusing the other of being the reason they’re not fighting.

The potential payday involved means that the public will probably get to see the one fight they’re desperate to see, but not until they’re both in decline and it’s patently obvious the whole sham is nothing more than a last-ditch money grab. Then the only question will be whether or not Rousey-Cyborg will surpass Mayweather-Pacquiao as the most disappointing fight of all time.

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

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