On Friday night, Cris 'Cyborg' Justino lost a convincing decision loss in a muay thai fight to Jordina Baars. Baars a world muay thai champion dominated most of the fight, against Cyborg who in her MMA fights has looked to have unstoppable stand up dominance.
But does this loss in a different sport hurt the marketability of Cyborg in a potential MMA fight with UFC champion Ronda Rousey? Dave Meltzer dives into the subject:
In reality, Justino's loss should mean only a little more in MMA than Michael Jordan being humbled on the baseball field meant to basketball fans when he returned. It's a different sport. She faced a world champion in their own sport under their own rules. Period. End of discussion.
But right now, with UFC in a rebuilding phase, with no "magic" fights on the horizon, one of the biggest potential fights in the sport is Justino vs. Ronda Rousey. For a number of reasons, it is one of those rare fights that can capture the imagination of people who don't follow the sport closely.
Those are the same people who promoters specifically target when avoiding allowing their top fighters anywhere near playing under somebody else's rules on somebody else's turf. And there was a time, when the fighting knowledge of the fan base was pretty limited where these fears were significant.
The question becomes, does the fact Justino lost hurt the business of a future fight with Rousey? The answer is, if handled correctly, it shouldn't matter at all.
The key to maximize business is for Justino to fight a couple of times in the UFC in a featured position. As long as she wins in impressive fashion, the interest will be there for her and Rousey, provided Rousey also continues to win. Wins on the outside are nice, but they aren't going to be seen by enough people to make a difference. Plus, the two women seemingly don't like each other. Neither are shy about talking about the other and making that clear in very personal terms. If there's anything that the last few years have shown, it's that a grudge, whether real or exaggerated, is the biggest key in blowing up main event business.
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What do you think Underground? Do you agree or disagree with Meltzer? Does Cyborg's loss in muay thai make you any more or less interested in an MMA match with Rousey?