Its been a long and troublesome road for the UFC’s hunt for a legitimate female 145-pound champion.
Germaine de Randamie defeated former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm back in February to become the division’s inaugural champion, however, after refusing to fight Cris “Cyborg” Justino in her first defense due to her history with performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), the promotion stripped “The Iron Lady” of her title.
Cyborg and Invicta FC featherweight champion Megan Anderson were expected to go head-to-head for the vacant UFC strap, however, Anderson was forced to pull out of the bout due to reasons not yet disclosed. Anderson was replaced by Invicta FC bantamweight champ Tonya Evinger who will step in to fill the void.
“She’s had a rough go here in the UFC,” White said. “She hasn’t been thrilled with things that have been said, things that have been done. And to be honest with you, : : ‘Cyborg.’ So the least we can do is get our (expletive) together and get this woman a fight for the title.”
As for Anderson’s replacement, Evinger, White believes that the Invicta 135-pound champ is a woman who is going to step into the Octagon and bring the fight right to the Brazilian powerhouse – something others have been wary of in the past:
“(Anderson) had some personal problems and couldn’t do this fight,” he said. “And Tonya Evinger is a girl who has been around for a long time. She’s tough, she’s gritty, and what I’m really looking for is, I want a woman that’s going to go out and fight ‘Cyborg.’ I believe Tonya Evinger is that woman. We’ll see.”
White then went on to claim that Cyborg ‘owns’ the 145-pound division, and that any woman looking to fight at featherweight can expect to be standing opposite Justino inside the Octagon come fight night:
“We make it very clear: When you go into that division, you know who you’re going to be fighting. Basically, ‘Cyborg’ owns that division. You go into the 145-pound division and you’re fighting for a belt, you’re going to fight ‘Cyborg. “We signed ‘Cyborg,’ we made a commitment to ‘Cyborg,’ and not everything is easy and not everything is as fun as other divisions or whatever, but we made a commitment to this woman.”