A highly anticipated women’s featherweight title bout between champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino and former bantamweight champion Holly Holm is reportedly dead in the water, at least for UFC 219.
While UFC president Dana White has been working feverishly to put a blockbuster event together for the UFC’s year-end show, he’s struggling to find a bout worthy of topping the Las Vegas fight card.
Time is slipping away to get a deal done with Conor McGregor, whom White had counted on to unify his lightweight championship with that of interim titleholder Tony Ferguson. McGregor is reportedly gumming up the works by demanding an equity stake in the UFC as part of the negotiations.
White was also hoping to land Cyborg vs. Holm on the card, but that bout is reportedly dead in the water.
“Holly was anxiously awaiting the Dec. 30 fight with Cyborg and had been training for it,” Holm’s agent Larry Fresquez told MMAFighting on Wednesday. “But we could not come to financial terms for this featherweight title bout in December. We look forward to meeting her under the right circumstances.”
Of course, Fresquez publicly proclaiming the bout dead could be an attempt to force the UFC’s hand, but if the bout doesn’t come to fruition and neither does McGregor’s return, it certainly leaves the promotion with a massive hole to fill at the top end of its final event of the 2017.