Ronda Rousey has no sympathy for former Strikeforce 145-pound women’s champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos.
In an interview with the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show,” Rousey ripped Santos for testing positive for an anabolic steroid before her Dec. 17 title defense against Hiroko Yamanaka.
Also during the interview, Rousey discussed the state of women’s MMA, her goals and more.
Rousey on Cyborg: “I think she was a detriment to women’s MMA. I think that no little girl is going to watch Cris Cyborg fight and want to be like her one day. I don’t think that she’s a good example. I think it was obvious all along that she was doping and I think it’s a really bad message to send to kids that you need to dope to be a champion. I think it’s better with her gone and I think that when she comes back -- I plan on fighting her when she comes back and I plan on beating her when she comes back. I feel like that will be a good example. The only positive role that I think Cris Cyborg can play for women’s MMA is as a bad guy Ivan Drago character that’s going to get beat by a Rocky. … She earned her sentence, and when she’s done, she can come back and get her real punishment.”
On the state of women’s MMA: “When I first started coming into women’s MMA, I saw that it was kind of at a tipping point where it could just fall into obscurity or it could be suddenly pushed off into the right direction. I’ve really been trying my best to kind of influence the sport. It’s kind of back in the forefront again and I think it’s really been working. I mean, look at it. Women are the main event of a Strikeforce card on Showtime for the first time in years. That’s not an accident.
“I’ve kind of been looking at the big picture all along and I’m really happy with how things are going. You’re also starting to see a bunch of different names. It’s not like women’s MMA is irrevocably tied into Gina Carano or Cris Cyborg. You’re going to see new names like me, Miesha Tate … and all these different girls. We’re starting to gain popularity, and actually people are starting to know who they are. I’m actually starting to see women’s MMA being recognized as a whole sport and not just as a few personalities.”
On the extra pressure women are under right now: “The guys don’t have to worry about if they don’t perform well or if they don’t interview well that there just won’t be a welterweight division anymore, or they just won’t be able to fight anymore because no one will want to watch them. But I think that makes things actually easier because I know that all of the fights are going to be exciting. All of the girls will come out and throw down because they have to. Because if the girls aren’t putting on a show, they’re not going to be there.”
On how she wants to end her career: “My goal is that when I’m done, women’s MMA won’t need me. But right now, I think that they do. I think a lot of the girls will think I’m super cocky or whatever and full of myself to say that, but I think that I’ve done a lot of good work. I think that a lot of the attention women’s MMA has gotten is not entirely due to me, but I’ve worked really hard to make sure that it has got the attention that it has. I’ve been willing to take the criticism that’s come along with it. Eventually I hope that I won’t be needed anymore.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:55:15).