Commentary

Justino comeback still on track

Originally Published: July 15, 2013
By Josh Gross | ESPN.com

Cris Justino's plan to rebuild her image and sharpen her knives through Invicta FC is proceeding as she expected.

Two fights into a three-bout deal, "Cyborg" is officially atop 145 again, requiring little time to reassert herself as the dominant force at featherweight.

The slaughter of Marloes Coenen on Saturday was a reminder that it'll take something and someone special to stop the destructive 28-year-old Brazilian. The first option on everyone's list, of course, is UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.

As spectacles go, Cyborg-Rousey is a "superfight" -- easily the most important all-female MMA contest yet. Rousey is a star. She has everything you'd want out of a pay-per-view draw. "Cyborg" serves as the antihero, at least insofar as how people view her. She's perfect to root against, and it seems the stigma of a positive steroid test will linger for as long as she decides to step in a cage and fight for a living.

Justino's plan doesn't seek to remedy any of that. Yet so long as she fights and wins, that's good enough to get her where she wants to be.

And if she fights and wins the way she did this weekend, that could easily convince people that Cyborg, not Rousey, is mixed martial arts' best female fighter.

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