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How Kayla Harrison fight talk is giving Cris Cyborg serious Ronda Rousey vibes

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Bellator women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg might be experiencing a bit of déjà vu.

Back when Ronda Rousey began her rise to becoming the next big thing in women’s MMA, it was regularly debated how she’d fare in a matchup with Cyborg, who at the time was the consensus greatest women’s fighter. Cyborg remembers this.

Fast forward several years later, and a big topic of conversation at this moment is how a fight would play out between Cyborg and undefeated two-time PFL women’s lightweight champ Kayla Harrison.

After Cyborg (25-2 MMA, 4-0 BMMA) starched Sinead Kavanagh in the first round of the Bellator 271 main event last Friday, the promotion decided to have “Big” John McCarthy ask Cyborg about a potential showdown with Harrison (12-0), who was sitting cageside in Hollywood, Fla.

Did that bother Cyborg?

“No, I don’t care,” Cyborg told MMA Junkie on Thursday.

Why? Because the current situation with Harrison feels all too familiar.

“I believe it like this: Kayla is just doing like Ronda Rousey in the beginning, what they were doing,” Cyborg said. “I was the champion in Strikeforce, and everyone started talking about me because people didn’t know who she is at the time. I think she just followed the things like Ronda did in the beginning. She’s just doing the beginning, too.”

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The key difference here is that, whereas Cyborg vs. Rousey was purely a fantasy fight given Rousey moved on to the UFC, whereas Cyborg vs. Harrison is a possibility since Harrison is currently the hottest free agent on the open market. Bellator president Scott Coker has said he is “serious” about pursuing the two-time Olympic judo gold medalist in hopes of making a fight with Cyborg.

Cyborg, however, has a feeling that Harrison will re-sign with PFL, which has paid her $1 million in each of her first two seasons. But even in that scenario, Cyborg hopes the fight still can be made.

“I just feel like there’s no reason, I don’t think she’s gonna leave there,” Cyborg said. “But she’s searching, so let’s see what’s gonna happen. But it’s gonna be a great fight. Even if she stayed in PFL we can make it happen (as a) cross promotion. I believe this fight can happen like boxing, have the A-side and the B-side. She’s been fighting for two years on ESPN, but she has (38,000) followers. I don’t think she’s touched the fans a lot. This fight can happen anytime with an A- and B-side. It can be great.”

As great as it can be, the 36-year-old Cyborg doesn’t think the fight is necessary for her legacy.

“I don’t think I need to prove anything,” Cyborg said. “I don’t think a fight with Kayla is gonna change my legacy. … It’s gonna be a great fight, yes, if it happens. If it doesn’t happen, my legacy is gonna continue. But it’s a great fight, and I think she needs that fight. So let’s see.”