GDR stripped of belt, Cyborg vs. Anderson official

Monday, June 19, 2017

Germaine de Randamie was outside the top 10 at bantamweight, yet won the featherweight belt by beating former 135 champ Holly Holm, who had been on a two-fight losing streak. The bizarre fight came about because the UFC realized Cris Cyborg was never going to be able to make 135 to fight an unbeatable Ronda Rousey, and decided to go with a 145 division, but Cyborg was so debilitated from the catchweight weight-cuts that she was unable to fight immediately.

Then one of the drugs Cyborg had been prescribed by her physician to restore the normal functioning of her endocrine system was flagged by an anti-doping test. She was issued a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption, and eventually was ready to fight.

Then de Randamie said she was suspicious of Cyborg’s past PED use, and wanted to go back to 135. The UFC today officially responded accordingly, stripping GDR of the title, and announcing that Cris Cyborg and Invicta FC featherweight champion Megan Anderson will fight for the 145 belt at UFC 214 on 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,” explained the league in a statement. “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.”

The move had been anticipated for weeks, but GDR expressed surprise.

“I had absolutely no idea that I was being stripped of the belt,” said de Randamie to Ariel Helwani for moments after the news broke. “I found out through social media. Cyborg is going to fight Megan for the belt. Nobody ever told me anything about it.”