When Germaine de Randamie refused to defend her UFC women’s featherweight title against Cris Cyborg, the UFC stripped her of the title, creating an opportunity for a enterprising female fighter to step in and fight Cyborg for the vacant title. Enter Invicta featherweight champion Megan Anderson, who had been campaigning for a fight against Cyborg for months and was eventually rewarded; Cyborg vs. Anderson was scheduled for UFC 214 in what would arguably be the greatest women’s featherweight bout in MMA history.
But unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. Anderson was forced to withdraw from the bout due to personal reasons and in her stead, Invicta bantamweight champion Tonya Evinger will make the jump to the UFC and up a weight class to challenge Cyborg for the vacant 145-pound title. In the meantime, Anderson has now become the focal point for rampant speculation about what caused her to withdraw from the fight.
Speaking recently on the Sean, Funky, and the Baddest Man podcast, Anderson addressed the internet backlash to her withdrawal and the speculation arising from the vague reasons given.
“I understand where people are coming from, but honestly I don’t owe anyone an explanation. I have personal stuff. Say if you had personal s**t you were dealing with. Would you want the whole world pressing you and forcing you to try to tell them? No, you'd probably be like, ‘F**k you guys, this is my s**t.’”
One of the most widely suggested reasons for Anderson’s withdrawal is visa issues, a theory which Cyborg herself suggested was the case on The MMA Hour recently. And while interviewer Joe Warren, a teammate of Anderson, said it was “a logistical matter,” Anderson maintained that the problem is not a visa issue nor is she pregnant as some suggested. Anderson just insisted that it was unavoidable and she’s hoping to get past it and right back in against Cyborg later this year.
“I want to make one thing clear and that's unfortunately this is out of my control and I didn't want to have to pull out of the fight. I was ready for that fight. I wanted that fight more than anything. I’m definitely not scared of Cris and hopefully once this stuff is kind of figured out, I want that fight back. She can say what she wants, but I'm coming for her regardless.”
Of course, the internet being what it is and the particular nature of Cyborg being an imposingly feared fighter, Anderson says that many fans have accused her of pulling out of UFC 214 because she is scared of fighting Cyborg after footage was released of Cyborg boxing with two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields. On the contrary, Anderson says that watching Cyborg’s sparring footage made her even more confident in her ability to beat Justino and that she hopes to fight her later this year.
“The thing that pisses me off the most is people think like I'm scared when that’s far from the truth.
“I've seen that and I was even more confident going into that fight. I seen a lot more holes in her game from that footage than I saw positives. I was even more excited for the fight. It was almost like the opposite of what people said and maybe we can rematch that fight when on the card when McGregor comes back.”
You can listen to Anderson’s full interview below.
Man up. Michael Bisping says he will fight the interim title holder if GSP doesn’t “man up” before UFC 213.
Better. Alistair Overeem responds to Mark Hunt’s PED allegations saying he’s proven to be the better fighter.
Good news. Matt Hughes is off the ventilator and “showing small signs of improvement.”
Lost. Chris Weidman lost his NYSAC appeal for UFC 210 loss.
Opinion. Holly Holm says Mayweather-McGregor critics are “people who don’t fight.”
T-Wood out here making short films now.
Abel Sanchez on MayGregor.
Stephan Bonnar on TMZ twice in the strangest ways.
Let’s get some Yoel in here.
Brit Pack. International Fight Week is dissected and broken down.
Believe You Me. Bisping talks about the upcoming middleweight interim title fight.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
The real fireworks are Saturday #ufc213 #onamission— Belal muhammad (@bullyb170) July 5, 2017
'Merica pic.twitter.com/wjnCzFBA2v— Olivier Aubin (@oliaubin) July 4, 2017
Happy 4th from us to you Enjoy and be safe. @RockyPMMA pic.twitter.com/MtgKHNPX3N— Tecia Torres (@TeciaTorres) July 4, 2017
#happy4thofjuly everyone don't blow off any fingers tonight lol pic.twitter.com/n3xPmcNd2d— John Dodson III (@JohnDodsonMMA) July 4, 2017
Jon looking fit.
25 more days until victory pic.twitter.com/ij2gyrNIth— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) July 5, 2017
Also, JBJ’s comment: “By not making weight?”
Gilbert Burns has been trying to get a fight with anybody and the UFC still yet to book him it seems.
What up @oliaubin I saw you suppose fight June 4 and you got injured. How is the recovery going? Would like to fight you next! @ufc— GILBERT BURNS (@GilbertDurinho) July 4, 2017
@ufc pic.twitter.com/JOAtwYubiY— Olivier Aubin (@oliaubin) July 4, 2017
So ?? https://t.co/wJ0pM6oZpk— GILBERT BURNS (@GilbertDurinho) July 4, 2017
Im down.— Olivier Aubin (@oliaubin) July 4, 2017
Hey @LukeBarnatt remind the fans how many times you have been finished! Before you say you're going to KO someone that's never been stopped! https://t.co/Hj7IifmgGd— scott askham (@scottaskham1) July 3, 2017
There's a first time for everything... you've never fought anyone with fight finishing power.. and haven't won a fight in over a year. https://t.co/JI4of7kgFq— Bigslow (@LukeBarnatt) July 4, 2017
Not won a fight for over a year and still getting offered main event slots in my own back yard! #FanFavorite and everyone knows the jaw...p1 https://t.co/8hIWvYYTh2— scott askham (@scottaskham1) July 4, 2017
The only reason anyone even cares you got cut from the UFC is because I called you out. I got you that main event slot. Where's my Thank You https://t.co/YFyX05bGnn— Bigslow (@LukeBarnatt) July 4, 2017
Fan favourite? Your dad and his drunk mates in fancy dress doesn't make you a fan fav, I'm sure they're getting bored of watching you lose. https://t.co/YFyX05bGnn— Bigslow (@LukeBarnatt) July 4, 2017
Always change your moves. Gotta zig when they zag.
As promised, my neighbor giving me tips. #kdog pic.twitter.com/Q3vPqu3dMD— Chris Wade (@CWadeMMA) July 5, 2017
Mighty Mouse joining the squad.
Patrick Cummins is a delightful kind of strange.
"If you wanna float like a butterfly ,you better have a caterpillar on your face"— Patrick Cummins (@OfficialDurkin) July 5, 2017
-Muhammad Ali #NoToothTuesday
4th of July Edition pic.twitter.com/1GJ9l8MCVe
Happens to the best of us.
My dog will not stop staring at me..he's so cute I can't stop staring back..and now it's a contest..— tonya evinger (@tonyaevinger) July 4, 2017
Jared Cannonier (9-2) vs. Nick Roehrick (7-0); TUF 25 Finale, July 7.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2008: Forrest Griffin became the UFC light heavyweight champion by winning a unanimous decision over Quinton Jackson at UFC 86. In the co-main event, Patrick Cote secured himself a middleweight title shot by taking a split decision over Ricardo Almeida.
2014: Chris Weidman successfully defended his UFC middleweight championship, winning a unanimous decision over Lyoto Machida at UFC 175. In the co-main event that evening, Ronda Rousey knocked out Alexis Davis in 16 seconds to retain the women’s bantamweight title.
Also on this day, Pat Miletich was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
I hope everyone had a good 4th, and for the not America readers, I hope your Tuesday was good. The day of Gaethje is fast approaching. Almost to the best fight weekend of the year. I can’t wait.
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.