Earlier this year, Germaine de Randamie outwardly refused to defend her UFC women’s featherweight title against number-one contender Cris “Cyborg” Justino. Today, the UFC announced that it had stripped De Randamie of her title as a result of this refusal, and that Cyborg will be battling Megan Anderson for the vacant title at UFC 214 this July 29.
“UFC has informed Germaine de Randamie and her management team that she is being removed as the women’s featherweight champion due to her unwillingness to fight the No. 1 ranked contender, Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino,” The UFC said in a statement posted to UFC.com. Subsequently, top contender Justino will face newly signed Invicta FC featherweight champion Megan Anderson for the UFC women’s featherweight title in the co-main event of UFC® 214: CORMIER vs. JONES 2, July 29 in Anaheim, Calif.
UFC maintains that any champion is expected to accept fights against the top contenders in their respective weight classes in order to maintain the integrity of the sport.”
Shortly after this news broke, de Randamie spoke to MMAFighting.com to give her take on the situation. Apparently, she had no idea she was being stripped, and only found out on social media – not via contact from the UFC as the statement above suggests.
“I had absolutely no idea that I was being stripped of the belt,” de Randamie said. “I found out through social media. Cyborg is going to fight Megan for the belt.”
“Nobody ever told me anything about it.”
De Randamie won the featherweight title with a controversial decision defeat of Holly Holm in the main event of UFC 208 back in February. De Randamie followed this title win with a period of radio silence, but ultimately announced that she would not fight Cyborg.
“Germaine and her team have talked, and the position is that she will not fight Cyborg because Cyborg is a known and proven cheater,” de Randamie’s manager Brian Butler told MMAFighting.com back in May. “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.
“For that reason, Germaine and her team don’t believe that Cyborg should be allowed to compete in the UFC at all. 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.”
What do you think of the UFC’s choice to strip Germaine de Randamie?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/19/2017.