In the strangest title fight in league history, the inaugural women’s featherweight championship was contested by 0-2 her last two bantamweight Holly Holm and #10 bantamweight Germaine de Randamie. The latter fighter won, and bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes went looking for a fight. Nunes had after all already defeated de Randamie.
The women’s 145 division had been created for Cris Cyborg, but she innocently ran afoul of a PED test. Eventually, Cyborg was granted a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption, and with that, Nunes had a rational change of heart.
“I do not intend to fight with Cris”, said Nunes to Brazil’s AG Fight, as translated by FOX Sports. “But my intention was to fight [Holly Holm or Germaine de Randamie], who were in my category, but Cris is coming back now and I’m not interested in going up. I want to see her as the champion. To fight with her, I would have to gain weight and gain muscle. I am at 135 pounds. To do such a job [at 145], I would need at least a year.”
“That’s what I said: ‘This category is for Cris, but then she tested positive.’ But then, two girls from the 135-pound class moved up, one was coming off two defeats and the other was not in the rankings. The champion [Germaine de Randamie] is a girl that I have already defeated. I asked to go up because I can be champion in two categories.
“My point of view was that they were two athletes from my category and that Cris was not in the game at the time.”
Nunes is expected to fight #1 contender Valentina Shevchenko in a rematch sometime this year. Nunes won the first fight over three rounds, but many observers felt that over five rounds the outcome would have been different.