The general consensus amongst everyone in the universe right now is there is no one left for Cris Cyborg to face. Not now, and not in the foreseeable future. I don’t know if I can argue that it’ll be easy to find someone for Cris to fight in 4 months, but that has less to do with the depth of the women’s divisions than the way WMMA has been booked and promoted thus far. There’s several women that I know of that could challenge Cris Cyborg in the near future, so strap in and prepare for a little women’s MMA education.
Why she’d be a challenge: You wouldn’t have to ask this if you’ve been following Ronda’s career thus far. Four pro fights and two ammy fights all finished by armbar in under a minute. She’s using that bronze medal level judo to throw everyone while simultaneously locking up the submission before they even hits the ground. She’s big enough to handle Cyborg’s power and has been competing against bully opponents in judo her whole life.
The roadblocks: Ronda left a life of judo with some shiny medals but not a lot of coin. She came into MMA to remedy that shortcoming, and has a very specific plan to maximize the amount of money she can make. That means going down to 135 and terrorizing the women down there until a superfight with Cyborg actually makes dollars and sense. They’re going to fight, but I wouldn’t expect it until late 2012, early 2013.
Why she’d be a challenge: Thus far Gina has done the best of any of Cyborg’s opponents. Take into consideration that she was not as serious about her training leading up to that fight as she should have been and halfway out the MMA door, and it means you probably didn’t see her perform to her full potential. While she wasn’t able to hang with Cyborg head to head, she still has the power to put her away if she manages to get into an advantageous position (and not give it up like in their last fight).
The roadblocks: She currently has BOTH feet out the MMA door now and there’s no sign that she’s particularly buzzed about getting back in. Beating Cyborg would require the best Carano we’ve ever seen, not a half-assing. And would Gina even fight Cyborg again? I have a feeling the fights she takes will be hand picked to help her career along outside the cage. A second fight with Cyborg probably doesn’t fit that bill.
Cyborg may seem invincible but she’s far from it. There are many questions that still need answers. What happens when one of her opponents weathers the storm? Can Cris keep up the pace for five rounds or will all that muscle sapp her constitution? How will she fare when someone puts her on her back? Will she be able to bumrush an opponent with better striking? No one has ever tried to wrestlefuck her either. Yes, she’s a scary woman. Yes, she’s undoubtedly top of the pack right now. But she is not invincible, and I’d put money on one of the women in this list eventually defeating her.
In the end, the question isn’t so much who can fight Cris Cyborg but why would they? You either win and have no one to fight or you lose and have no one to fight. There effectively isn’t a proper division at the moment, and so long as Strikeforce’s booking scheme revolves around feeding 145ers to Cyborg, it’ll stay like that. Let’s hope they invests the room on their cards to allow the women’s divisions to develop to a point where fighting Cris Cyborg isn’t the only stop on the female featherweight express.