For quite some time now Invicta FC featherweight champ Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino has been campaigning for the UFC to implement a female 145-pound division, and UFC President Dana White finally budged.
Sadly Justino could not make-weight in time to participate in the inaugural championship bout, and the match-up was made between former UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie to collide for the historical feat. It was later revealed that ‘Cyborg’ failed an out-of-competition United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) test, and much speculation arose as to why she couldn’t make the 145-pound weight limit.
Dana White recently participated in a media scrum in Las Vegas this past weekend (Friday December 30, 2016) for the UFC 207 pay-per-view (PPV) event, courtesy of MMA Junkie, stated that deciding to make the female featherweight division has subsequently blown up in his face:
“Obviously, the plans that I had for 145 were just all – they didn’t go the way I thought it was going to go,” White said. “Both those girls wanted to fight Cyborg, right? And stylistically, they’re both great matchups for Cyborg. I actually like both of those fights. Germaine and Holly are both great fights for Cyborg.
“Cyborg got her 145-pound title in her division and that all blew up on me.”
While Justino’s first two UFC victories came at the catchweight of 140 pounds, White revealed that ‘Cyborg’ claimed she was open to cutting to 135 pounds to compete in the women’s bantamweight division when negotiation with former UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta:
“If you were in the discussions when she came on board,” White said, “she was 100 percent into cutting down to 135. And she met with Lorenzo (Fertitta) – her and Lorenzo met and they had conversations and her plan was to get to 135. Obviously, that’s the money division.
“Even at 145 pounds, it’s not really the money division. But maybe she could have turned it into something. But that was never the original plan.”
Although the plan was to build the featherweight division around ‘Cyborg’, White is till excited about the upcoming battle between Holm and Germaine, and will see how the division stacks up from here on out:
“Listen, Holly and Germaine will be a good fight,” White said. “It’s a good fight. I don’t know, I’ve got to see – the wheels are already in motion, so I’ve just got to see how this thing plays out and go from there.”
“That was never the plan, to do (women’s featherweight) either, but now we’re in,” White said. “We’ll see how that one goes, who knows, maybe one of these two will win the belt and we’ll find a contender. I don’t know, we’ll see how this whole thing plays out.”
What do you think will be the repercussions of ‘Cyborg’ most likely not being able to compete in the UFC’s new featherweight division? Will the division be able to survive?