The wait may be over at last – Cris Justino could finally be returning to the Octagon next month.
It must have been a very frustrating time for Cyborg recently, as the Brazilian simply couldn’t catch a break at securing an opponent.
Despite campaigning for a UFC featherweight title match against Germaine de Randamie – who defeated Holly Holm to become the inaugural champion – the Dutch fighter showed no interested in throwing down with Cyborg.
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That was the initial plan, following on from the USADA saga, Cyborg was in the midst of the matchmaking drama after De Randamie’s manager Brian Butler revealed the champion is willing to drop the gold if it means fighting Cyborg.
He said: “Germaine and her team have talked, and the position is that she will not fight Cyborg because Cyborg is a known and proven cheater.”
Well, the UFC was not going to wait around on De Randamie and her injured hand and her refusal to find Cyborg, as rumours indicate they are ready to move on in a big way.
According to MMA Fighting, UFC is close to officially booking Cyborg vs Megan Anderson for the featherweight championship at the UFC 214 event on July 29 in Anaheim, California.
They added that if everything goes to plan, then the fight is expected to be announced in the coming days and will be on the same bill as Daniel Cormier’s highly anticipated rematch against Jon Jones for the light heavyweight championship.
The interesting thing to note is it’s unclear how UFC will take the title off De Randamie, but it looks like they won’t be creating an interim version of the belt for the sake of it.
Cyborg vs. Anderson wasn’t the original back-up plan, though, as it was revealed that UFC was trying to have Cyborg battle Cat Zingano, but health issues meant Alpha was unable to fight on the date that had been agreed.
The Australian Anderson – who is the current Invicta champion after Cyborg vacated it to pursue a career in the UFC – now seems like the logical choice to go with after both women have been aggressively pursuing the fight, and verbally agreed on it when appearing on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour.
At the time, Cyborg said: “I am very excited about this fight, and I called out this fight a long time, because I think she’s a 145-pounder.
“This fight was supposed to happen a long time ago, and then no happen because her manager talked to the UFC and thought she needed more time, needed more fighters. But they think this is the real fight. This is the real fight for the belt at 145.”
Cyborg’s wish looks to have finally be granted, and on July 29 we could finally see her donning a UFC championship.
What do you make of Cris Cyborg’s rumoured next fight? Have YOUR say in the comments section below.
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