The UFC women’s featherweight division can finally move forward, with Cris Cyborg and Megan Anderson set to square off for the vacant belt at UFC 214.
On Monday morning, the UFC announced that former champion Germaine de Randamie was stripped of the belt.
“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,” UFC said in a statement, via ESPN.com.
“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.”
Since winning the title earlier this year with a victory over Holly Holm, de Randamie showed no interest in defending the title. She expressed her interest in returning to 135-pounds and said she would not fight Cyborg, who is the clear No. 1 contender in the division.
As a result, she is no longer a UFC champion and Cyborg will get her shot at UFC gold against Anderson, the current Invicta FC champion at 145 pounds.
UFC 214 takes place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. on July 29. The event is headlined by a light heavyweight championship bout between current title holder Daniel Cormier and former champ Jon Jones.