Cris 'Cyborg' Justino has signed a deal with the UFC, putting her one step closer towards a fight with Ronda Rousey.
The two have been at each other's throats for years, talking trash about each other incessantly, with just the difference in weight division stopping them from settling their differences in the Octagon.
However, Justino has contract terms in place that could see the two waiting to fight a little bit longer.
Fighting her way into the UFC
Despite Justino having signed a deal with Zuffa, the UFC's parent company, she's not going to instantly appear in the promotion itself. Instead, she'll have to fight outside of the UFC at a bantamweight level, most likely in Invicta, who have a working partnership of sorts with the organisation.
Once she's proven capable of doing that, possibly having to do it twice, she'll then be eligible to come into the UFC, where she'd likely be given either Rousey out of the bat or have to beat someone like Miesha Tate or Cat Zingano.
With Justino currently booked to face another opponent in Invicta in July, in what will reportedly be a featherweight bout, it seems as if we may only get to see Justino fight once at the bantamweight level before the end of the year.
This means it could take another year and a half before we see Justino in the UFC Octagon and by then Rousey might just clear out the entire division and be waiting for her. The deal will be in the back of Rousey's mind now, as her common criticism of Justino has been that she isn't prepared to fight at Rousey's weight level and needs to come to her.
Now, that's more of a possibility than ever and after Justino said that a move to bantamweight would be too much for her, this decision clearly indicates that she's ready for the move down a weight level.
Rousey can't be distracted by Justino
Although she is the overwhelming favourite heading into her next bout, Rousey can't let the Justino deal or the presence of Justino get to her. At UFC 190 in Brazil, it's very likely that Justino is front and centre to watch the fight and to support her fellow countrywoman, Bethe Correia.
Correia has managed to talk her way into the title shot, having created a WWE-esque storyline between her and Rousey, but she'll need a fairytale to topple the champion at this point.
Whichever way the fight goes, the fight between Rousey and Justino is money, whether it's for a title or not. These two women have an intense hatred for each other that Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier wish they had.
You'll need the best referee to pull these two apart and if they do fight, it'll be one of the most intense fights in UFC history.
Yet still, we have to wait and see if Justino can pull it off at a bantamweight level and I think everyone is hoping she can, maybe even Rousey herself.
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