White: Justino fight ‘is there’

UFC president Dana White claims the ball is in Cris Justino’s court as far as a potential fight between her and UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is concerned.

“Cyborg” Justino is widely regarded as the only woman capable of mounting a serious challenge for Rousey’s title, but would need to drop down from featherweight in order to do so.

White was questioned about the potential match-up at the post event press conference after UFC 190 in Rio de Janeiro, where Rousey destroyed Brazil's Bethe Correia to record her sixth title defence and remain undefeated after 12 fights.

He told the gathered media that Justino, also a Brazilian, just needed to ask for the fight and make the weight cut in order for it to be booked.

“After Connor McGregor fought Chad Mendez, Frankie Edgar was backstage chasing me everywhere, texting me, calling me, going crazy,” White said.

“If I was Cyborg, I would have been trying to jump in the octagon. I think she was here tonight. If I was her I would have tried to jump into the octagon to say ‘I’m next. Give me my shot next’.

“It’s there. The fight is there. She just has to make the weight. There is talk, but I don’t see her doing the necessary things to fight.”

Correia lasted just 34 seconds on Saturday; suffering several blows to the head and slumping to the floor before the referee was forced to step in.

Rousey’s last two defences lasted just 16 and 66 seconds respectively, and only one of her 12 professional bouts has ever gone deeper than the first round.

Miesha Tate holds the honour of surviving the longest and is set to challenge Rousey for the third time in the coming months.

Rousey defeated Tate to win the Strikeforce bantamweight title in 2012 and was promoted to UFC champion when the organization was purchased by Zuffa LLC and absorbed into the UFC.

She repeated the victory in 2013, less than a minute into the third round, but Tate is undefeated since and considered the number one contender.

Though Rousey is widely expected to record another crushing win if they meet for the third time, she said the fight could be her toughest challenge yet.

“Every fight is a challenge. I think one advantage that I do have is that they don’t really know what they’re going to get when they get in there. They can watch as much footage as they want but they don’t really know what it’s like to be in there with me,” she said.

“That’s why I think Miesha (Tate) is one of my greatest challenges because she already has an idea of what she is getting in there with.

“I know I have improved a lot since the last time we fought, but I don’t have the element of surprise. I know she will bring something different every single time so I am eager to see what she comes up with this time.”

Comments