In a report published on ESPN.com this morning, it appears UFC is moving forward with an attempt to reset the women’s featherweight division.
UFC released a statement first regarding the status of champion Germaine de Randamie, who won the women’s featherweight championship in a bout against Holly Holm at UFC 208 in February. She had been openly vocal about not wanting to face Cris “Cyborg” Justino, citing Justino’s past drug testing infractions as a part of the reason. The company elected to strip her of the championship as a result. The statement read:
“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. 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.”
Additionally, the company set a fight between Justino (17-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) and Megan Anderson (8-2) at UFC 214 as the co-main event for the now-vacant championship. That event takes place on July 29 in Anaheim, CA. Anderson is the reigning Invicta FC featherweight champion, who told ESPN that she has signed a multi-fight deal with UFC. The bout will be the second of the short history of the women’s featherweight division.