In a recent interview, Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino’s manager and attorney, George Prajin, released some statements regarding Rousey continuous rant about Cyborg’s steroid problems. Prajin said that Justino will definitely do something if UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will not stop accusing her of using steroids.
“We just want to make it clear to her that she’s being reckless with the truth, and if she continues to do that, then Cris is going to weigh her options,” Prajin admitted.
Rousey (12-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) had another victory against Correia (9-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in UFC 190 held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. During the UFC 190 post-fight conference, Rousey mentioned that Cyborg needs to “get off the juice and fight in the division everybody else is in” so that the much-anticipated fight between them will finally happen. The day after these statements were released, Justino spoke her mind about this matter, via Twitter, saying that she is looking into getting legal action because of what Rousey said about her.
Back in 2011, Justino was indeed suspended for a year and got stripped off her title when she failed post-fight drug test and tested positive for taking performance-enhancing drugs. However, with Rousey implying that she is still on steroids, Justino’s legal team concluded that these statements are defamatory and definitely cross the line.
“She (Justino) would prefer that Ronda stop making those accusations because the evidence supports that she hasn’t used in the last four years,” Prajin further explained.
In order for Rousey-Justino MMA fight to happen, Cyborg needs to drop down 135 pounds and meet Rousey in that weight division. With Rousey’s latest victory against Correia, the Rousey-Justino bout became a hot topic again. For now, Rousey is going up against Miesha Tate for the third time. There is no definite date as to when the trilogy will take place, but some reports say that UFC Dana White is looking into a December date, where McGregor and Aldo is set to fight as well.
Before every fight, Rousey is asked what she thinks about the possible fight with Cyborg. This conversation often leads to a verbal war between the two camps.
Prajin knows that Rousey is protected by the First Amendment for her statements. He even admitted that it is quite hard to win libel lawsuits in court, especially because of the anti-SLAPP laws. These anti-SLAPP laws are made in California, apparently where both of the fighters live, so as to limit unpleasant and harassing litigation from the critics
However, Prajin said that there is a fine line between using free speech and releasing illegal statements. Though there isn’t any formal lawsuits filed against Rousey yet, Prajin said this might probably change if the reigning bantamweight champion does not stop making such comments against Justino.
“The way around (anti-SLAPP) is somebody being reckless. She’s crossing that line,” he added.
In a recent interview in ESPN’s “SportsCenter”, Justino had the chance to defend herself regarding Rousey’s allegations. She admitted that she has not failed any drug test since her sanction last 2011. In fact, Cyborg has gone six drug tests, some of them which were taken under the same promotional group, and she passed them all. Justino is known to fight for Invicta FC. However, she also has a deal with Zuffa, the UFC parent company, where she has to comply with the out-of-competition drug testing program supervised by the USADA.
Justino further said that when a champion has already defeated all of her opponents in her division, the champion then goes up in weight to fight the next set of fighters in that MMA division. “Ronda already cleaned out her division. When a champ cleans out the division – everybody sees this – the champ goes up (in weight). And I’m the champion at 145 (pounds), and I can drop to 140 to fight her. The right way is to have her fight at 145, because all the champions do this when you clear out a division. But I can drop to make 140 happen,” she explained.
“But I think if the UFC wants to make that fight, they have the power to do this. If the UFC doesn’t think I deserve the fight, do it for the fans. My fans and fans of MMA want to see this fight, and they deserve this fight,” she added.