The blemish on the face of women’s MMA is the undisputed work of Cris “Cyborg” Justino.
Justino tested positive for the anabolic steroid Stanozolol after fighting Hiroko Yamanaka at “Strikeforce: Melendez vs Masvidal,” which led to an avalanche of repercussions. She was suspended from the California State Athletic Commission for one year, fined $2,500 and stripped of her women’s featherweight championship status.
Meanwhile, UFC women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey is running out of people to beat — so naturally the topic arises as to when these two will meet in the Octagon.
UFC president Dana White has made it clear that Justino presents a myriad of problems that his organization is not eager to traverse in order to facilitate a fight with Rousey. In fact, he is pretty much against the idea. In a recent interview with BT Sports, White said: “I can’t believe people are asking me about Cyborg … I can’t even … it’s nuts. She (Rousey) will not fight Cyborg.”
It’s pretty cut and dried, but there might still be a way for Justino to sway White’s opinion. Perhaps she can somehow change her image and win favor with UFC brass and the public at large so that this Olympian battle can take place. The question remains as to how.
Justino can take her blighted status as a juicer who got caught, and use it in a public service campaign to educate other fighters about the dangers of using performance-enhancing drugs. This would require her to recant her claim that she was using supplements for cutting weight that somehow contained steroids that she was unaware of.
Distancing herself from this statement is an excellent idea, because the language makes zero sense in the first place. Steroids are used for rapidly gaining muscle, not rapidly losing weight. Plain and simple.
Her campaign could involve talking to small groups of young fighters in MMA gyms and speaking at functions endorsed by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Heck, even a simple press conference arrange by former manager Tito Ortiz would do for starters.
There you go, Justino. Admit you’re wrong, reach out and educate some young knuckleheads and maybe even save a life or two while you’re at it. Perhaps you won’t get your title shot against Rousey, but you just might win back your self-respect.