The mess that is the UFC Women’s Featherweight Division just got a little messier.
More than three months after winning the promotion’s inaugural championship in the female 145-pound division, Germaine de Randamie appears to be ready to abandon the division and her championship. The source of her decision appears to be a reluctance to fight Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino.
“My reason to reject the fight now has nothing but nothing at all to do with my fear,” de Randamie wrote in an Instagram post on her account that has since been made private. “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.”
Cyborg tested positive for anabolic steroid use back in 2012. She served a one-year suspension and has fought seven times since. She was then flagged by USADA for a potential violation for diuretic use in December 2016, but she was soon after cleared of that violation after it was determined she had a legitimate medical need for the substance.
De Randamie also says that she needs to sort out a nagging hand injury and that her plan was always to return to 135 after the Featherweight Championship fight with Holly Holm at UFC 208.
“There is still a lot of unclear about my hand,” she wrote. “I have an appointment with the doctor on June 14 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 (and) 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 (135 pounds). 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.”
So with potentially no champion, few naturally 145-pound fighters, and a consensus top contender who has trouble making weight and who many don’t want to fight, it looks like UFC’s Women’s Featherweight championship may need to quietly fade away.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: This division has been a mess from the start and really no one involved has done anything to improve its chances of success. UFC hastily made the title fight so they could have a championship fight for a pay-per-view, and potentially line up a Holly Holm-Ronda Rousey rematch for the future. De Randamie went on to win a terrible fight and UFC signed exactly zero new fighters to help populate the division. Meanwhile, Cyborg continues to go back and forth on making 145 pounds, nearly got popped for a drug violation, and now may have herself in some legal trouble after popping Angela Magana in the mouth a couple of weeks ago. UFC can keep Cyborg around if they like, but they might need to abandon this as a championship division for the time being.
TUESDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-Former UFC and current ONE FC fighter Brandon Vera has publicly kicked Angela Magana out of the Alliance MMA gym. “[Magana] kinda embodies what’s wrong with the world today… super entitled, whines ‘n’ Cries about everything, and no other skills whatsoever, pretty worthless,” Vera wrote on Facebook. “You got your card pulled… for ‘cyber bullying’ someone you thought you’d never run into. Super drama… Do me a favor and keep away from my Alliance MMA.”
–Samsung has announced that they will be offering UFC 212 this weekend in virtual reality on the Samsung Gear VR. A Samsung press release states: “For the first time in UFC history an event will be live streamed in Virtual Reality. Fans will witness this highly-anticipated event in high-quality 360-degree live stream and will have access to additional VR content, including pre-event and post-event show highlights with UFC Featherweight Champion José Aldo and interim UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway.” Unfortunately, only the Fight Pass portion of the event will be available in the United States. The main card can be viewed everywhere else Samsung VR is available except New Zealand.
FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENT ROUND-UP…
-Lina Lansberg vs. Leslie Smith at UFC Fight Night Glasgow on July 16.
-Ryan LaFlare vs. Alex Oliveira at UFC on Fox on July 22 from Uniondale, New York.
-Brian Ortega vs. Renato Moicano at UFC 214 on July 29 from Anaheim, Calif.
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 5/30: Gustafsson says he’s not interested in a Jon Jones rematch (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)