Wednesday’s UFC Tonight program on Fox Sports 1 caused a bit of a stir with one Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino, as they announced the UFC was targeting her for a fight at UFC 201 in July against Germaine de Randamie at 140 lbs.
Justino spoke out against the report, saying she was planning to defend her Invicta Featherweight Title next, and was only interested in another catchweight should one of two options become available: Ronda Rousey or Miesha Tate.
“I’m a champion at 145 pounds, [UFC] doesn’t have my division, that’s fine!” Justino wrote on Twitter (translated by MMAJunkie.com). “But they don’t have the right to erase my division. No point in trying to manipulate my fans, I’ll be defending my belt next fight! I’ve proven I can make 140 pounds. I did my part.
“It was very hard to make 140 pounds, I had to train three times a day, and I’m doing a documentary that will soon be online for you to see. In all the press I had to do for my last fight, I couldn’t take my belt to show I’m champion. I was forbidden.”
Penick’s Analysis: Justino belongs in the UFC, she belongs on that platform, and if it takes giving her fights at featherweight in order to bring her in more often, then perhaps they should just book some featherweight fights for her. Bring in some other names just to fight her. If the matchups she’s looking for at 140 lbs. come together, book them. She can sell tickets, and people want to see her fight. They should make it happen. Now, if de Randamie wants to come up an extra five pounds and give up that edge, it’s a fine fight to make, but I can’t entirely blame Cyborg for not wanting to make a cut that severe, either.
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