According to an official statement just posted by the UFC, Germaine de Randamie has been stripped of her title for refusing to face Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino – the number one contender for her belt. This obstacle was the main reason that Cyborg and current Invicta champ, Megan Anderson, had, more-or-less, matched their own catchweight fight via social media.
Fan support for the match had clearly reached the ears of the powers-that-be and, after much negotiation and deliberation, they’ve decided to remove Germaine as champion.
There had been some controversy over de Randamie’s win over Holly Holm in February, when she rocked Holm with a punch thrown after the bell when she’d dropped her defences. Holm was unsteady after the illegal punch and, subsequently, lost the fight.
Official UFC Statement
“The fighters wanted it and the fans wanted it, and on Saturday, July 29, the UFC is delivering a world championship bout between Brazil’s Cris “Cyborg” Justino and Australia’s Megan Anderson, who will compete for the vacant UFC women’s featherweight title in the co-main event of UFC 214.
The bout will fill the vacancy left by the removal of Germaine de Randamie as 145-pound champion. The UFC explained the vacancy in a statement.
“UFC has informed Germaine de Randamie and her management team that she is being removed as the women’s featherweight champion due to her unwillingness to fight the No. 1 ranked contender, Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino. Subsequently, top contender Justino will face newly signed Invicta FC featherweight champion Megan Anderson for the UFC women’s featherweight title in the co-main event of UFC 214: CORMIER vs. JONES 2, July 29 in Anaheim, Calif.
UFC maintains that any champion is expected to accept fights against the top contenders in their respective weight classes in order to maintain the integrity of the sport.”
In the UFC 214 main event, which airs live on Pay-Per-View from Honda Center in Anaheim, it’s the long-awaited rematch between UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and former titleholder Jon Jones. Tickets are on sale now.
It’s been a title fight long in the making for Cyborg (17-1, 1 NC), one of the top female fighters of all-time and one of the most feared competitors in the game. Unbeaten for 12 years, the Curitiba native has owned the Strikeforce and Invicta FC championships, beating the likes of Gina Carano, Marloes Coenen and Charmaine Tweet along the way. In 2016, she made her highly anticipated UFC debut, and she didn’t disappoint in stopping Leslie Smith in just 81 seconds. In her most recent bout in September, Cyborg halted Lina Lansberg in two rounds.
Looking to derail the Brazilian freight train rolling through Southern California this July is Queensland native Anderson (8-2). One of the rising stars in the sport, the 27-year-old began her career at home in Australia, but once she relocated to train in Kansas City, she went from prospect to champion in less than two years. A five-fight veteran of the Invicta FC promotion, Anderson has won four in a row by knockout, with her January stoppage of Tweet earning her the Invicta 145-pound title. Now she will attempt to add UFC gold to her collection when she meets Cyborg in one of the biggest WMMA fights in history.”
Looks like UFC 214 just got even more interesting. It also seems like the promotion is starting to warm to Cyborg and the fan support the formidable Brazilian has earned in her tenure at the UFC.