MMA is a hotbed for talk of “super fights” and “dream match-ups” more so than perhaps any other combat sport in history. Sure, boxing has its fair share of them, but really over the past few years the only super fight talk in that realm has been Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, and that’s actually, finally happening. In MMA, you’ve had talk of Couture vs. Fedor, Lesnar vs. Fedor, Silva vs. GSP, Jones vs. Silva, and Jones vs. Velasquez over the past fives years or so, and how many of those fights have actually gone down? Exactly zero.

The closest we’ve come to a super fight recently has been Silva vs. Diaz, and that bout left both fighters looking at long-term suspensions for drug tests failures. The fight itself? Solid, but not exactly an instant classic.

Yet the talk remains. Mighty Mouse wants to go back up in weight. Bellator seems to really be pushing for these, what with Ortiz vs. Bonnar and the upcoming Shamrock vs. Slice. With a large part of the available talent in the western MMA scene tied up in the UFC, you can forgive Bellator a little for featuring names a bit past their expiry date. At least they’re trying to shake things up.

Yet there’s one super fight out there that is within reach, and it’s a super fight that matters. That is relevant. It wouldn’t be just a fun fight for the fans, it would have actual relevance to an entire segment of the sport. That fight is, of course, Ronda Rousey vs. Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino.

Rousey vs. Cyborg is almost the Holy Grail of women’s MMA. Cyborg is seen by most as the only fighter in Rousey’s league, with apologies to Miesha Tate, and everyone else Rousey has ever faced (only Tate has managed to go multiple rounds with her, thus she certainly deserves consideration in the conversation, but a third fight is still a way’s off for “Cupcake”). She’s someone with a legit dislike of the champ, and the feeling is mutual. She has been a force in her professional career — yet thus far, their paths have yet to cross despite many close encounters.

There has been trashing talking between the two, of course (and between Rousey’s mother and her potential challenger). A beef between the UFC and Cyborg’s former manager, Tito Ortiz. All sorts of bizarre distractions, failed weight cuts, PED scandals, twitter wars… it goes on and on.

Yet the recent news that Cyborg has a contract with the UFC that grants her a title shot should she successfully make weight in Invicta for the bantamweight division (she’s currently their featherweight champion) means that the storm that has been gathering is closer than ever — and for once, the MMA world may get the fight that it deserves. That’s not a reference to just fans, either. Fans “deserve” the best product the various promotions can offer, given they’re paying customers, but it’s hard to ever argue that you deserve much of anything when discussing two athletes putting their life on the line.

No, it’s the division itself that deserves the fight, ultimately. It’s a fight that pits a consensus legit threat against a champion seen as miles ahead of the rest of the pack. It’s the fight that will finally put an end to the claim that women’s MMA, especially in the UFC, is just “the Rousey show” — whether she wins or loses it. That claim is blatantly false, but it’s still out there.

For the good of the sport, it’s a fight that needs to happen. It’s a fight that will be historic. It’s perhaps one of the biggest “super fights” still out there.

And now we know one simple truth: the ball is in Cyborg’s court, and there’s only one last obstacle to clear.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.