After a lot of pressure from fans and fighters alike the UFC has finally agreed to create and Women’s Featherweight division and have it’s inaugural title fight at UFC 208 in Brooklyn, New York. But there’s one major catch…
Invicta World Featherweight Champion, and top of most women’s pound for list, Cris “Cyborg: Justino will not be fighting. The UFC have decided to not wait for Cyborg’s return to the ocatgon, instead opting to have three-division world boxing champion and former UFC Bantamweight Champion Holly Holm battle the Netherlands’s own Germaine de Randamie. A former Mauy Thai star, de Randmie finished her pro career with an unblemished record of 46-0. She is 6-3 since devoting herself to MMA and 3-1 with two of her wins coming by KO/TKO and her only loss to current Bantamweight Cahmpion Amanda Nunes.
As can be expected, Cyborg felt disrespected by UFC’s choice to have the first title fight without her. In and interview with ESPN cyborg stated, “Sometimes, I want to fight in another organization outside the UFC, but I have two fights left on my contract. I have to do those two fights. It’s not just about the money or the belts. It’s really hard when you feel like the company doesn’t respect you.”
To the UFC’s credit they had offered Cyborg three different dates to fight for the title but she turned them down for reportedly needing more time for her body to recovering from her last weight cut for her 140 catchweight bout (5 pounds below the Featherweight limit) in September. UFC President Dana White was quick to squash any talk of an effort to sabotage or otherwise disparage Justino while talking to ESPN.com. “We’re out to disrespect Cyborg? She said she couldn’t make 145 pounds in eight weeks. We offered her a second and a third fight. She turned them down. With everything I’ve got going on in my life, the last thing I’m thinking is, ‘Hey, let’s get together and disrespect Cyborg.'”
Regardless of the story behind booking the fight, it looks like fans in Brooklyn will be in for a great fight from two well accomplished striking warriors.