UFC women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie has yet to defend the title she won vs. Holly Holm back in February. It’s been assumed that Cris Cyborg would be her next opponent, given she’s the biggest star in that division and literally the only other women’s 145er on the UFC roster.
In a statement released to MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani on Friday, de Randamie’s manager Brian Butler explained their stance on not fighting the Brazilian.
“Germaine and her team have talked, and the position is that she will not fight Cyborg because Cyborg is a known and proven cheater. Even after so much scrutiny has been put on Cyborg, she still managed to pop for something and will always be a person of suspicion who is trying to beat the system rather than just conforming to the rules.
“For that reason, Germaine and her team don’t believe that Cyborg should be allowed to compete in the UFC at all. If that is the only fight the UFC wants, then Germaine is willing to wait and see if the UFC will strip her belt before making her next move.”
Those “cheater” comments would be in reference to Cyborg’s suspension after she tested positive for stanozolol in a 2011 Strikeforce win over Hiroko Yamanaka. Cyborg then had a potential USADA violation this January, but received a retroactive therapeutic use exemption (TUE) for the banned diuretic spironolactone. She received no punishment for this.
With those comments in mind, here’s a quick rundown of the state of the UFC women’s featherweight division:
- Holly Holm challenged for the inaugural belt but has now returned to 135, where she’ll be fighting Bethe Correia on June 17th.
- There are only two fighters under contract who are listed as women’s featherweights.
- One of them is Germaine de Randamie, the current champion.
- The other is Cris Cyborg, former Invicta FC champion who vacated her title specifically to challenge for de Randamie’s UFC belt.
- De Randamie doesn’t want to fight Cyborg.
- Cyborg has a legal issue to deal with after the Angela Magana incident at the UFC Athlete Retreat.
Lest we forget Holm vs. de Randamie was first booked because Cyborg turned down both of those fighters for the UFC 208 card, citing that she needed more time to recover from her cut to 140 lbs for her TKO win over Lina Lansberg in September.
Apart from all of that, year 1 of the UFC women’s featherweight division has really been smooth-sailing.
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