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UFC 208: No Cyborg, it’s Holm vs de Randamie for new UFC women’s featherweight belt

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The new UFC women’s 145-pound belt will be up for grabs at UFC 208 in Brooklyn in February. But, the world’s No. 1 women’s featherweight – Invicta FC featherweight champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (17-1-0, 1 NC) – is on the outside looking in.

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Instead, former bantamweight champion Holly Holm (10-2-0) will take on No.11 bantamweight Germaine de Randamie (6-3-0) will compete for it instead in the main event.

UFC president Dana White revealed on the UFC Unfiltered podcast he offered Justino two featherweight title fights a month ago, which she declined despite having eight weeks to prepare.

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“I offered Cris Cyborg a title fight at 145 pounds about a month ago,” White explained on the podcast. “She had eight weeks to get ready for it. She said she couldn’t make the weight. Then I offered her another 145-pound title fight for Brooklyn (UFC 208). She turned it down. She turned down two 145-pound title fights.”

Cyborg explained the reason for declining the fights on her Twitter account.

Holm and de Randamie appear to have benefitted from Cyborg’s decision.

Holm lost the bantamweight belt to Miesha Tate back in March at UFC 196, and then lost a surprising decision to Valentina Shevchenko at UFC on FOX 20 in the summer.

De Randamie is on a two fight win streak, her last win being a win over the recently retired Anna Elmose at UFC Fight Night 87 in May.

Tickets for UFC 208 go on sale to the general public Dec. 16.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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