Cyborg: 'Women's MMA can't have just one face'

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Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC / UFC / Getty

When it comes to championing women's MMA, Cris Cyborg would rather join the charge than lead it

The featherweight standout said Tuesday that with longtime poster girl Ronda Rousey all but retired, it's up to more than one fighter to fill the former bantamweight champ's shoes.

"I believe women's MMA can't have just one face, there are several athletes in the promotion," Cyborg told reporters, according to MMA Fighting's Guilherme Cruz. "What happened was, they made Ronda the face of (women's) MMA and she lost twice and doesn't want to come back. It's not about one face only. When you make it about one face and she leaves, you miss it."

Before consecutive knockout losses to Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes prompted her to put her fighting career on the back burner, Rousey was setting women's MMA records, taking her foes' arms home with her, and filling the UFC's coffers with pay-per-view after pay-per-view.

A clear-cut successor has yet to emerge, and while Cyborg vowed to pull her weight with every walk to the cage, the Brazilian firmly believes the women's MMA charge is best spearheaded by several of her fellow stalwarts.

"We have several athletes, it can't be just one person being the face of (women's) MMA. I will represent every woman with my belt there, just like every woman in the UFC represents every MMA fighter. It's bad when you make one person the face of (women's) MMA."

The 31-year-old meets Tonya Evinger for the vacant women's featherweight title at UFC 214 on July 29 in Anaheim, Calif.