Earlier this year, in the main event of UFC 208, Dutch striker Germaine de Randamie outworked Holly Holm to become the UFC’s first-ever women’s featherweight champion. The understanding was that, from there, she would then defend against the featherweight division’s consensus best fighter, Cris “Cyborg” Justino.
This is not the way things have unfolded.
Since her title win, De Randamie has been a ghost, which has left Cyborg with no choice but to call out other fighters, and the UFC with no choice but to start considering other options for its newest division.
Over the last week, however, De Randamie has begun to speak up, explaining her previous silence, and why she is reluctant to defend against Cyborg.
On Monday night, the champ spoke up yet again, issuing a lengthy statement in Dutch, reiterating her disinterest in a fight with Cyborg, and announcing her intention to return to the 135-pound bantamweight division.
“The fight between me and Cris ‘Cyborg’ was offered to me last November – even then, I had all my reservations but I accepted the fight,” de Randamie wrote on Instagram (translation via MMAJunkie.com). “‘Cyborg’ has rejected the fight because she could not get the weight of (145 pounds) in twelve weeks time. One month later, she was visited by the USADA and did not pass the test. The rest of the story is known.
“My reason to reject the fight now has nothing but nothing at all to do with my fear,” she continued. “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.”
Germaine De Randamie then explained that she is still having issues with an injured hand, and that she hopes to return to the bantamweight division where her UFC career began.
“There is still a lot of unclear about my hand,” she explained. “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.”
What do you make of these comments from Germaine de Randamie?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/29/2017.