The UFC women’s featherweight division has existed for less than six months but it’s already mired in a huge pule of confusion and controversy. Originally started to give #1 female fighter in the world Cris Cyborg a weight class she could reach without her organs threatening to shut down, things got off to a rocky start when the UFC decided to hold the inaugural title fight for the division at UFC 208 in Brooklyn to fill a hole at the top of the card. The problem? Cyborg was under doctor’s care at the time following two painful cuts down to a 140 pound catchweight, and was unable to participate.
The UFC went ahead with the bout anyways, slotting Holly Holm and Germaine De Randamie into the title picture, despite their less than stellar records one weight class down at 135 pounds. Their fight ended up being controversial as well, with De Randamie hitting Holm with several shots after the bell that would have changed the outcome of the fight had the referee bothered to take a point from the offending fighter.
Following the fight, De Randamie was asked about fighting Cyborg and gave an uncertain answer, pointing to an injured hand that might need surgery. Three months of silence later, and Germaine’s participation on an August card is still in question over her hand, but one thing is for certain: she refuses to fight Cris Cyborg, the top featherweight contender and one many consider the only true featherweight fighter on the UFC’s roster.
“Germaine and her team have talked, and the position is that she will not fight Cyborg because Cyborg is a known and proven cheater,” De Randamie’s manager Brian Butler said over the weekend. “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.”