Cris “Cyborg” Justino

Cyborg to Kayla Harrison: ‘She knows where she can find me’

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Kayla Harrison wants to fight UFC champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino, eventually. The feeling appears mutual.

“She knows where she can find me,” Justino said in a radio interview published Thursday.

“She’s supposed to be the next Ronda Rousey, judo girl,” the Brazilian said. It was unclear whether it was a statement or a question. “I don’t know if [Harrison] can take a punch.”

Harrison, who switched to MMA after repeating as Olympic judo champion in Rio, is 2-0 since debuting in the Professional Fighters League this summer.

Harrison has repeated in interviews that she wants to be the world’s best female fighter, and that would require beating Cyborg. Harrison said Justino is “considered the best, probably, pound-for-pound” female fighter ever.

Harrison brought up the idea that Justino could switch from UFC to PFL after her contract is up.

“I don’t think I’m ready yet [to fight Justino], but I know I will be,” Harrison said after an Aug. 17 TKO in her second fight, according to ESPN. “I’m not going to make guesses on the future, but I do know I will fight Cris Cyborg.”

Harrison is in PFL’s 155-pound division and will fight at least once more this year. Justino fights in UFC’s heaviest division, max 145 pounds.

Justino is 20-1 with one no contest since debuting in 2005. MMA fans and Dana White craved a fight between Cyborg and Ronda Rousey, Harrison’s former judo training partner, but it never happened.

White said they would have fought if Rousey won her last bout against Amanda Nunes on Dec. 30, 2016.

“I had a dream the other night that I was fighting Cyborg, and I got her in an arm bar and I broke her arm,” Harrison said in 2016, according to The New York Times. “But she wouldn’t tap, so I choked her unconscious.”

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Ronda Rousey says top female fighter Cyborg is ‘a known fraud’

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While many wonder if Ronda Rousey could fight a man, the more realistic question is if any woman could challenge her.

Rousey, a 2008 Olympic judo bronze medalist, improved to 11-0 in mixed martial arts Saturday, submitting Cat Zingano in a UFC Championship bout record 14 seconds in Los Angeles.

A fancied potential opponent for fans is Cris “Cyborg” Justino, a 29-year-old Brazilian featherweight (145 pounds) who was banned for one year after testing positive for a steroid three years ago and is not currently under UFC contract. Justino is 13-0 since her debut loss in 2005 and has challenged Rousey to a fight.

Rousey, the UFC bantamweight (135 pounds) champion, dismissed an option of moving up in weight to take on Justino, should she sign with UFC.

“It doesn’t make any sense at all for me to come up in weight class, especially because since she’s already been popped for steroids and is a known fraud,” she said on The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday. “It’s setting the wrong example to be making exceptions and making things easier for somebody like that.”

Rousey has said she would welcome a fight with Justino in UFC at 135 pounds.

Also Thursday, Rousey said she preferred to spend just 14 seconds in the octagon Saturday.

“I want to win with maximum efficiency and minimum effort,” Rousey said. “People forget that the [shorter] the fights are, the more fights that I can have. I feel like I’m actually making my career longer. … I was happy to come out unscathed and not let anyone hit me in front of my mother [a former World judo champion and the author of the tweet reply below].”

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