On February 11th in Brooklyn, a new title will be introduced to the Ultimate Fight Championship. The inaugural UFC women’s featherweight championship (145 lbs) will be up for grabs when former bantamweight champ, Holly Holm (10-2), takes on “The Iron Lady” herself, Germaine de Randamie (7-3) at UFC 208.
The UFC women’s featherweight title will be the 12th title introduced by the promotion (the 11th current title with the SuperFight strap being retired long ago), and will be the third to be contested among female competitors. Rumors of a flyweight (125 lbs) division coming to fruition started earlier this year when Joanne Calderwood and Valerie Letourneau competed at that weight on a Fight Night card in Ottawa, however, that division remains on hold – for now.
Former Strikeforce and current Invicta featherweight champ, Cris Cyborg (17-1), was originally targeted for this fight against De Randamie but turned it down due not having ample time to make the weight. Here’s what she told MMAFighting about the situation:
…They (UFC) invited me to fight again, but this time at my weight and for the belt, but with 10 weeks’ notice. Knowing that I was recovering, like I said, I told them I can fight anyone in March, but I need to take care of my body, and no mention of the fact that I’m dealing with severe depression and can’t have another brutal weight cut like before. This decision is more important than the belt or the division, I’m thinking about my health.
Cyborg is 2-0 since joining the UFC ranks with both fights having been contested at a catchweight of 140 lbs. With a 145 lbs division now officially introduced, you can count on her being the first challenger for the winner of Holm versus De Randamie if the time is right for her.
Coming off two losses at 135 lbs, Holm has yet to collect a win since her earth shattering head kick KO of Ronda Rousey at UFC 193. A win on February 11th will put her in an exclusive group of fighters to hold titles in two separate weight classes. Only Randy Couture, BJ Penn and most recently Conor McGregor (the first one to hold two belts simultaneously) have done so.
Another fight to keep an eye would be the upcoming Invicta FC 21 main event between Megan Anderson (7-2) and Charmaine Tweet (9-5). That fight takes place on January 14th (exclusively on UFC Fight Pass) and now holds major implications for both Invicta FC and UFC gold.
UFC 208 will mark the 2nd time that a UFC PPV event has taken place in New York since MMA became legalized following the record-breaking UFC 205 event last month at Madison Square Garden.
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