UFC: Germaine de Randamie Rejects Cyborg Fight, Heading Back to Bantamweight

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Germaine de Randamie/UFC
Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion Germaine de Randamie just threw the 145lb weight class for a loop, by announcing that she will not fight top contender Cris “Cyborg” Justino. Not only that, but the “Iron Lady” has also stated that her focus is primarily on going back down to her former home of bantamweight (135lbs).

de Randamie announced the news in a pair of lengthy Instagram posts earlier today. Addressing MMA and UFC fans, she stated:

Dear All,

It’s been a while since I posted something. But because of the commotion that I have come to feel, I feel the need to hear something from me and to clear the air (as far as possible). It is absolutely not so that everything that is said makes me do nothing. Also, I am a human being and I also have feelings. Despite the fact that I’m always positive, the comments make me more than I had hoped. The positive but also the negative.

The fight between me and Chris Cyborg was offered to me last November. Even then, I had all my reservations but I accepted the fight. Chris Cyborg has rejected the fight because she could not get the weight of 66 kilos in twelve weeks time. One month later, she was visited by the USADA and did not pass the test. The rest of the story is known.

My reason for rejecting the fight now has nothing but nothing at all to do with my fear.

I believe that if you want to do sports you do this without any means that can affect the muscle mass. I – as a top athlete – always trained, always watched my food and put 18 years of my life on sports, without using just one means that is not allowed.

Everyone has his or her opinion on this and that may. But that people think to know what my motives are / do not put me in the cold clothes.

Then, in a second post:

I work full time and irregularly, which takes a lot of time. In addition, there is still a lot of unclear about my hand. I have an appointment with the doctor on 14 June, and it will be decided whether or not to be operated. This option should also be considered for me because there is a great chance that my tendons / nerves can cause such damage that I could not use my hand more optimally.

During the negotiations on the battle with Holly Holm, I said in advance that after this fight I want to return to my natural weight class of 61 kilos. My task has not been completed yet

The UFC has promised me that this would be no problem and I can just return to my natural weight class.

This is why I am focusing on this moment.

When I fell in love with the martial arts 18 years ago, I had 1 goal. Share my great love with others who have the same love for martial arts as me !! This is my goal and will always remain my goal.

I want to thank everybody who has always stood before me and still support me through thick and thin !! You guys rock.

For all the haters; Two Baths !! “The IronLady” is far from done

The featherweight champion’s comments bring up a lot of questions. First and foremost, if the UFC did in fact promise her that she could return to bantamweight after facing Holly Holm for the 145lb title at UFC 208, why launch the division at all? Was it just to salvage a Pay Per View card that was failing? Was there an assumption that Holm, who has been on the precipice of stardom since becoming the first woman to defeat Ronda Rousey, would win?

And will de Randamie, if she does opt to head back to 135lbs, be dropping the title?

At this point, there’s some justification in questioning why the UFC bothered with a featherweight division at all. Cyborg remains a marketable fighter, but the promotion seems no closer to getting her a fight. Invicta FC Champion Megan Anderson has been campaigning hard, so the UFC could in theory create an interim title if de Randamie cannot fight due to her hand, or even strip her if she will not fight in the weight class.

One thing is certain, the promotion has a major problem with the women’s featherweight division, and needs to make a decision soon: either start bringing in fighters willing to compete at the weight, or nix it altogether and allow Cyborg to compete elsewhere.

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