The muddied waters of the UFC’s Women’s Featherweight division just got a whole lot clearer. The UFC released this statement this morning:
“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.”
This, however, caught former champ de Randamie off guard.
“I had absolutely no idea that I was being stripped of the belt,” de Randamie told MMAFighting.com when informed of the news. “I found out through social media. Cyborg (Justino) is going to fight Megan (Anderson) for the belt. Nobody ever told me anything about it.”
Regardless of how she found out, this news couldn’t have come as a total shock to the Dutch kickboxer. Since winning the belt at UFC 208 in February, de Randamie has basically been AWOL, save for a statement last month via her manager stating that she is refusing to fight Cyborg due to her past PED transgressions. She also claimed she plans on dropping back down to bantamweight. Basically she forced the UFC to make this move, which is probably the correct one for the company going forward – Cyborg is a proven moneymaker, while Anderson also has the makings of a future star.
Now will they actually sign some other 145-pound women, other than Anderson?!