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Morning Report: Cris Cyborg on Germaine de Randamie: She never wanted to fight me

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Cris Cyborg Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

When the UFC signed Cris Cyborg in March 2015, many believed that it wouldn’t be long before the organization created a featherweight division for Cyborg to lord over. But instead, the UFC opted to have Cyborg take one-off attraction fights against overmatched competition at a 140-pound catchweight and Dana White and the UFC insisted that they would not create a featherweight division due to lack of competitors. Then, earlier this year, the UFC had Holly Holm fight Germaine de Randamie for the inaugural women’s 145-pound title. It was a decision that many viewed as a blatant cash grab in an attempt to gloss up an otherwise mundane bout with a shiny belt in an effort to boost pay-per-view sales. And while some fans were unhappy with the decision, Cyborg was removed from fighting while clearing up an issue with USADA and was assumed to face the winner upon her return, so everything would come out in the wash.

Except that didn’t happen. De Randamie won a contentious decision over Holm and then refused to defend her title against Cyborg. Ultimately, this decision on de Randamie’s part led the UFC to strip her of the belt. Speaking recently with Combate (h/t Bloody Elbow), Cyborg said she had been expecting this result for some time because she knew de Randamie would never fight her.

"We knew she never wanted to fight me. There was some people in her camp that warned me about it, they said she wasn't going to fight me. I wanted to close the fight as soon as possible. I believe she knew they would do that. I don't think it came as a surprise, or that she learned about it on the internet. The UFC was in touch with her manager, they wanted to put me against her, but I knew it wouldn't be that quick."

"Maybe she was dropping to bantamweight to become a two-division champion. I guess that was her excuse, but she thought she couldn't defend and keep her belt. She didn't want the fight. Her first excuse was saying her hand was hurt, then she said she had family problems, then she called me a cheater. It was a new excuse everyday.”

In her post-fight interview with Joe Rogan inside the cage, de Randamie said she wanted to fight everybody including Cyborg but that she had to have hand surgery to deal with torn ligaments resulting from an earlier fight. Later, as the UFC was ostensibly trying to make a fight between the two, de Randamie would refuse to fight Cyborg, claiming that the former Invicta featherweight champion is a known cheater who can never lift the stain of circumventing the rules.

With de Randamie out of the picture, the UFC instead has made a fight between Cyborg and Megan Anderson at UFC 214 for the newly vacant featherweight title. Anderson is the current Invicta featherweight champion, a title Cyborg held until earlier this year when she vacated to compete in the UFC full time. Anderson had won the interim Invicta belt by stopping Charmaine Tweet at Invicta FC 21. The change to Anderson makes this a fight between the two most established featherweights in the world today and, in Cyborg’s eyes, is an all-around better fight.

“This fight against Megan is a big opportunity. She has the Invicta belt, which I vacated, so it's a perfect match. It's a real featherweight fight."

Cyborg faces Anderson in the co-main event of UFC 214 on July 29th in Anaheim, California.


MUST-READ STORIES

ESPY. Conor McGregor and Demetrious Johnson are nominated for Best Fighter ESPY.

$$$. Management group is suing Nate Diaz for more than $1M for breach of contract.

GOAT. Fedor Emelianenko says he never considered himself to be the best fighter.

3X. Ryan Bader says he’s making “three or four times” in Bellator sponsor money.

205. Phil Davis thinks Bellator has a better light heavyweight division than the UFC.


VIDEO STEW

Rankings report.

One of my favorite KOs.

Free fight (in Spanish).

Camp with Michael Chandler.

DLH very confident MayGregor won’t influence Canelo-GGG.

TTTHS.


LISTEN UP

Heavy Hands. Holly Holm and Andre Ward KO’s are discussed.

Bushido Talk. Mayweather-McGregor takes.

Press Row. Mike Russell joins to talk about Tim Hague’s death.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Beef.

Conor has moved on from the pool noodles.

Goldie is self-aware.

Desus and Mero are great.

Damn.

Hopefully coming to a Rizin Grand Prix soon.

Gotta keep them loose.

Shoot your shot I guess.

Good guy Alan Jouban.

The wonderful world of the UFC payscale.

Nate hits MJK with the Stockton Slap.

Careful what you ask for! @natediaz209 @randyspence1 #grampafell #stocktonslaplite @verdevalleybjj

A post shared by Puscifer & Caduceus (@puscifer) on

Impressive.

My 11 week transformation. From beginning of camp to end of camp

A post shared by Felice Herrig (@feliceherrig) on


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Rob Font (13-2) vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade (24-1); UFC 213, July 8.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2002: Chuck Liddell won a unanimous decision over Vitor Belfort at UFC 37.5.

2007: Frank Shamrock submitted Phil Baroni to become the inaugural Strikeforce middleweight champion at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Baroni. At that same event, Murilo Rua knocked out Joey Villasenor to win the EliteXC middleweight title.

2012: Gray Maynard won a split decision over Clay Guida in the main event of UFC on FX 4.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Another one of those days I really wish we still had polls. Is Cyborg the most ducked fighter in MMA history? Sound of in the comments with all your best takes on the situation.

Anyway, that’s it for today. Take it easy y’all and Conor bless.


If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy it.