Why? Rousey’s arch-rival Cris Cyborg will battle Marloes Coenen for the newly-minted Featherweight championship tonight. It is the first all-female PPV show in U.S. history, unless you count the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, and unless you spent a lot of time home alone when you were 13, you probably shouldn’t.
This card is about Invicta FC showcasing Cyborg, whose real name is Cristiane Justino Venancio (that’s why they just call her Cyborg), and her unparalleled ability to shred every woman she steps into the cage with. If you think Rousey is a wrecking machine, imagine Mike Tyson in a sports bra (okay, don’t do that) beating the living daylights out of girls with an excessive amount of tattoos on the small of their backs.
That’s Cyborg. Forget Anderson Silva. Forget Georges St-Pierre. Forget Jon Jones. Forget Cain Velasquez. Forget … okay, you get the point. Cyborg is wicked.
Cyborg knocks everybody out. She crushed Gina Carano. She throttled Jan Finney in a fight that would make the devil cringe and look the other way. She already hammered Coenen, the brave soul who will step into the cage with her again Saturday night.
Cyborg was on top of the world of women’s MMA in Strikeforce, but then she tested positive for performance enhancement drugs and was suspended from the sport for a year. She was stripped of the belt, eventually released from her contract and now finds herself fighting in Invicta FC as the company’s star attraction.
As Cyborg faded, along came Rousey, the Chael Sonnen of women’s MMA (except that Rousey can win fights these days). With her sick Judo throws, bone-crunching armbars and golden locks, Rousey emerged as the hottest thing in women’s sports since Anna Kournikova. Rousey is so mainstream now, she’s kind of like what Green Day is to punk rock. For some people, that’s all they know.
Rousey is the face of women’s MMA, but Cyborg may very well be the best female fighter in the world. It’s just that not a lot of people have heard of her or seen her fight. If Rousey is Green Day, Cyborg is the Misfits.
Rousey really wants no part of Cyborg. She’s safe for now because she’s the UFC Bantamweight Champion at 135 pounds. Cyborg fights in the featherweight division at 145 pounds. The UFC doesn’t have a 145-pound division. Neither fighter wants to fight each other at 140 pounds in a catch-weight fight.
So for now, the two women will lead separate lives. If Cyborg continues to whip every woman she fights and Rousey continues to break every woman she clashes with, it is inevitable that these two will have no choice but to fight each other.
Everybody knows what Rousey can do. Soon, everybody’s also going to know what Cyborg can do inside the cage. And unlike Rousey, it’s not pretty.