On Monday, the UFC stripped freshly-minted women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie of her title.
The reason? De Randamie refuses to defend her crown against the division’s top contender in Cris “Cyborg” Justino.
UFC flyweight king Demetrious Johnson (pictured), arguably the MMA’s top pound-for-pound fighter and game’s GOAT, must be ROFLMA after hearing the ironic news.
“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 UFC expressed in their official 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.”
Johnson is surely getting a kick out of the “unwillingness to fight the No. 1 contender” and “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” parts.
This is the same company who Johnson is accusing of “bullying” him into defending his throne against former bantamweight champ TJ Dillashaw, who has never competed at flyweight, instead of 125-pound top contender Ray Borg.
So, de Randamie gets stripped of her UFC belt because she doesn’t want to defend it against Justino (who can really blame her?), yet Johnson is keeping his gold even though he most likely won’t be fighting Borg.
The hypocrisy is palpable. When it suits the UFC, a champion must “accept fights against the top contenders in their respective weight classes in order to maintain the integrity of the sport,” but when it’s not in their best interests, ‘Let’s arrange a fight that make no sense outside of the fact it is more marketable and Dillashaw appears to be UFC president Dana White’s new BFF.’
It will be interesting to see how White responds to this when he eventually comes out of hiding.
For now, Justino and Megan Anderson will vie for de Randamie’s belt at UFC 124 and Johnson’s fate remains to be seen – and by “remains to be seen,” I mean TJ Dillashaw. And everyone will have to accept it.