The UFC will launch a new division next weekend in Brooklyn as Holly Holm battles Germaine De Randamie for the inaugural women’s featherweight title.
The newest UFC championship is being introduced with two fighters who have traditionally competed at 135 pounds including Holm, who is a former women’s bantamweight champion. Of course in a perfect world, the UFC would have introduced the featherweight division with inarguably the top women’s fighter in the world at 145 pounds, Cris “Cyborg” Justino, but she was forced to turn down the bout on Feb. 11 and then was ultimately flagged for a potential doping violation from an out of competition drug test taken last year.
So the UFC will kick off the women’s featherweight class with a bit of a dark cloud looming overhead, but Invicta FC interim featherweight champion Megan Anderson believes there’s a way to prove that the promotion is serious about devoting resources to the new division.
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And it starts by signing legit 145-pound fighters.
“I don’t want the division to become this laughing stock of 135’ers coming up because they don’t want to cut as much weight and they’re not going to sign true 145’ers,” Anderson told the Fight Society podcast this week. “That’s why I feel if they’re really wanting to back this division, they need to sign us 145’ers that can’t make 135.
“Us true 145’ers that have been fighting out of the UFC for so long that now are able to have that recognition that we’ve deserved for so long.”
At 6-foot tall while cutting to 145 pounds, Anderson is not only a legit featherweight but also the top talent in the division not currently signed to a UFC contract.
Most recently, Anderson dished out her fourth consecutive knockout victory as she finished Charmaine Tweet to win the interim title in Invicta FC because current champion Cris Cyborg is competing in the UFC.
As of yet, Anderson says she hasn’t received any overtures from the UFC about acquiring her services but the promotion would seemingly be foolish not to put her on the top of any wishlist as the women’s featherweight division gets underway.
Anderson has made no secret that she would like to fight the winner of the upcoming bout between Holm and De Randamie and if the UFC really wanted to bring her to the promotion, she would love nothing more than to sit cage side for UFC 208 next weekend to keep a close eye on her competition.
“Funny enough, the exact date of that fight February 11 is my birthday. I would love that opportunity to be there,” Anderson said about UFC 208. “I’ve never been to a UFC event before. It would be my very first UFC event I could go watch and I would love to be there front row watching those girls and analyzing my next competition.”
While Anderson is undoubtedly the top prospect in the featherweight division not under UFC contract, she’s also willing to defer her potential title shot if Cyborg is able to clear up her current matter with USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) regarding her drug test.
Cyborg is currently under provisional suspension and has stated that she intends to file for a retroactive therapeutic use exemption for the banned substance found in her system, which she has stated was prescribed to her by a physician.
Anderson can’t begin to speculate on how that situation will play out, but agrees if Cyborg is available, she deserves the first shot at the new UFC featherweight title. Otherwise, Anderson is more than happy to take on the task herself.
“I feel like it really depends on what they’re going to do with Cyborg. Cause it all depends on what happens with her USADA thing going on right now,” Anderson explained. “If she gets suspended, then I feel like I am the rightful person to go and fight the winner of that fight. If she’s not suspended, it should be her, she’s earned that right.”
As far as her own pick in the fight, Anderson would gladly face either Holm or De Randamie if the UFC offered her the opportunity but she does seem to lean one way in particular when it comes to the inaugural women’s featherweight champion.
“I don’t really know much about Germaine. I did see a stat the other day that her opponents that she’s fought in the UFC are like 0-6 so she really hasn’t fought a lot of top level athletes. I’m pretty sure her last fight was someone who is actually a strawweight, not a bantamweight, so that’s two-weight division below. It’s interesting,” Anderson said.
“Holly has good stand up but I feel like she really doesn’t have a lot of power in her hands. Germaine, from what I’ve seen which isn’t much, but she has great streaking. I think it will be an interesting battle. I’m a Holly Holm fan so I’m going to go with Holly and then again I’m a fan of Holly…but I’d be happy to fight her.”