It looks like the UFC’s decision to create a women’s featherweight division has completely backfired, thanks to champion Germaine de Randamie.
After winning the promotion’s 145-pound belt in Brooklyn earlier this year, de Randamie has shown no interest in fighting the top featherweight in the world, Cris Cyborg.
Instead, de Randamie has been discussing a possible hand surgery and now she appears ready to abandon the division altogether.
In a recent statement on Instagram, de Randamie said her focus is on returning to 135 pounds.
“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, 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.”
This is obviously not a good look for de Randamie or the UFC overall.
The company took a leap of faith and created the division with the idea of eventually having Cyborg fight for the title, and while that still may happen, they ended up with a champion that has no interest in defending her belt. That takes away from how special the belt is supposed to be.
Hopefully the UFC can find a way to salvage the division and create exciting matchups, though.
Cris Cyborg vs. Cat Zingano, perhaps?
Photo Credit: Instagram