Germaine de Randamie is no longer a UFC champion.
MMA Fighting reported on Saturday that Cyborg was slated to meet Invicta FC champion Megan Anderson for the UFC belt at July 29 in Anaheim, Calif., but it was unclear how the promotion would handle de Randamie.
The answer came 48 hours later.
The Dutch fighter, who moved up from bantamweight and won the inaugural women’s featherweight championship with a close decision win over Holly Holm in February, was stripped of the belt after refusing to face Cyborg, the UFC announced on Monday.
“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,” the promotion said in a statement. “Subsequently, top contender Justino will face newly signed Invicta FC featherweight champion Megan Anderson for the UFC women’s featherweight title in the co-main event of UFC 214: Cormier vs. Jones 2, July 29 in Anaheim, Calif.
“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.”
After months of silence, de Randamie’s team opened up on May as of why she would not agree to face the Brazilian in the Octagon.
“Germaine and her team have talked, and the position is that she will not fight Cyborg because Cyborg is a known and proven cheater,” de Randamie’s manager Brian Butler told MMA Fighting. “Even after so much scrutiny has been put on Cyborg, she still managed to pop for something and will always be a person of suspicion who is trying to beat the system rather than just conforming to the rules.
“For that reason, Germaine and her team don’t believe that Cyborg should be allowed to compete in the UFC at all. If that is the only fight the UFC wants, then Germaine is willing to wait and see if the UFC will strip her belt before making her next move.”
UFC 214 takes place at the Honda Center, and features a rematch between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones for the light heavyweight championship in the main event. Cyborg vs. Anderson co-headlines the card.