Cyborg defeated Marloes Coenen for the inaugural Invicta FC belt in 2013. Now, nearly four years later, the UFC has finally relented and begun developing the women’s 145-pound division, so Cyborg announced that she has vacated the Invicta belt.
The move isn’t all that surprising, considering that Cyborg’s two most recent fights have been under the UFC banner. She hasn’t defended the Invicta title since January of 2016.
Cyborg was in a unique situation in which she was signed to a UFC contract in hopes that there would one day be a showdown between her and former bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. All the while, she was allowed to fight for Invicta, as long as she wasn’t otherwise obligated to a UFC bout.
Now that a 145-pound women’s division exists in the UFC, there’s no turning back. UFC president Dana White publicly admitted that the promotion opened up the division specifically for Cyborg.
Although a stumbling block with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency precluded her from fighting in the UFC’s inaugural featherweight championship bout, Cyborg has been cleared of a potential anti-doping violation and is ready to fight.
While Cyborg was dealing with health issues and USADA, de Randamie won a controversial decision over Holly Holm at UFC 208 in February to claim the belt. de Randamie and Holm have been calling for a rematch, but Cyborg isn’t going to let that happen without a fight.
Upon vacating the Invicta FC belt, Cyborg immediately called out de Randamie.
“After her victory, GDR at 145 pounds, the UFC determined that she will be the No. 1 contender for my title belt,” Cyborg said, after making the case that she is the true 145-pound champion after years remaining undefeated. “I’m healthy now and I’m strong, and I really want to show my fans why I’m still 10 years undefeated at 145 pounds.”
Though de Randamie said she had been dealing with a hand injury following UFC 208, she was still willing to give Holm a rematch. Cyborg took that into consideration, naming a target for her to fight de Randamie, which includes a little time for the Dutch fighter to heal.
“After my two fights in Brazil, I would like to fight in the USA. July 29, UFC will be in south California, and I would like to fight in my backyard in America in Anaheim, Calif.,” said Cyborg, all the while polishing a UFC belt.
“I hope your hand is healthy enough to accept my challenge.”
(Courtesy of Cris Cyborg)