Just when it looked like Cris "Cyborg" Justino had the opportunity to become a UFC champion, things take a turn in the opposite direction.
Justino was signed from Invicta FC where she reigned as the promotion's undefeated featherweight champion of the world. After making her UFC debut and competing in catchweight fights at 140 pounds, as the promotion didn't have a female featherweight division at the time, Cyborg immediately began campaigning for the implementation of a female 145-pound division.
Cyborg's demands were met - sort of. The UFC was forced to exclude Cyborg from the inaugural women's featherweight title bout, as Justino claims she was unable to make weight in the time given by the UFC. Thus a match between former women's bantamweight champion Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie was made.
De Randamie went on to win the inaugural female 145-pound title at UFC 208, and talk of a fight with Cyborg immediately ensued. Following her bout with Holm, the Dutches stated that she'd need to take time off before defending her title due to a broken hand, but now she's singing a different tune.
In a recent statement to MMA Junkie via her manager, Brian Butler, de Randamie claims that she now refuses to fight the Brazilin due to her history of 'cheating' (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“Germaine and her team have talked, and the position is that she will not fight ‘Cyborg’ because ‘Cyborg’ is a known and proven cheater,” Butler said in the statement to MMAjunkie on Friday.
“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.”
“Germaine and her team don’t believe that ‘Cyborg’ should be allowed to compete in the UFC at all,” Butler said.
“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.”
It should be interesting to see how the UFC decides to handle the situation going forward, as Cyborg's relationship with the promotion is rocky as of late.
What are your thoughts on de Randamie's refusal to fight Cyborg? Is she truly refusing to fight her because of her past with Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs)? Or is she running scared from the Brazilian knockout artist? Let us know in the comments!
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