If UFC bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey is able to defeat Liz Carmouche next month at UFC 157, talk will undoubtedly turn to a future tilt with former Strikeforce title-holder Cristiane Santos. Santos has softened her stance on slimming down to bantamweight in recent weeks, making a match-up between the two talented females more likely now than ever before.
However, the 10-1 “Cyborg” also hasn’t seen since December 2011 due to a drug-related suspension and will be theoretically be making her 135-pound debut in her next outing, giving the 27-year old Brazilian a few humps to overcome in addition to her adversary. As such, manager Tito Ortiz has gone on record as saying he wants Santos to fight at least once before the bout with Rousey.
“She hasn’t fought in almost a year and a half. I want her to get warmed up and comfortable in the UFC,” said Ortiz in an interview with MMAJunkie. “(Rousey) got a tune up fight, and she’s in the main event. So I think ‘Cyborg’ deserves a tune up fight.”
Ortiz didn’t go so far as to mention any possible candidates, simply stating he wanted his client to get the respect she deserves.
Rousey is scheduled to face Carmouche (8-2) in headlining action on February 23. The match-up will mark the first time women have ever fought inside the Octagon.
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE/UFC