It may still be a ways away, but we just got a whole lot closer to a Ronda Rousey vs. Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino super fight in the UFC with announcements this week. Invicta FC announced this week that it had signed a multi-year broadcast deal with the UFC's digital network, "Fight Pass."
It also announced that it's top star, Justino, will make her bantamweight debut at Invicta FC 10 in December. "Cyborg", of course, is the former Strikeforce featherweight champion but has been on the outside looking in at MMA's biggest stars like Rousey ever since a suspension for steroids and her refusal of a UFC deal when they absorbed Strikeforce.
Since that time, Rousey has become one of the major faces of MMA and headlined pay per view cards. Rousey and Justino have lobbed insults and threats at one another for years but have been far apart from fighting with rousey being a 135 pounder in the UFC and Justino staying up at 145 pounds in other organizations.
This week's announcements bring a Rousey vs. "Cyborg" fight a couple important steps closer to reality. First, Justino has finally dropped the charade of claiming that it would be nearly physically impossible for her to make 135 pounds.
Secondly, her home promotion of Invicta FC striking a partnership with the UFC means that the UFC will be able to start promoting "Cyborg" before she could even sign with them. There will be Justino's December fight against a yet to be announced opponent, which will be aired on the UFC's network, and it is likely that the UFC will be granted access to all of Justino's Invicta FC's fight footage - an important component of creating the types of highlight videos and commercials needed to hype a potential fight between her and Rousey.
Of course, both Rousey and "Cyborg" will have to keep winning if a fight between the two is to carry the same hypothetical heat it does now. Soon, however, they will both be fighting in the same weight division in fights aired by the UFC.
That's a pretty good start.