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Dana White: UFC women’s featherweight division will continue without Cris Cyborg

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The UFC will continue to promote a women’s featherweight division despite the looming exit of former champion Cris Cyborg.

Following a tenuous relationship between Cyborg and UFC president Dana White, the former 145-pound champion was effectively released from the promotion on Friday after her three-month negotiating period was waived, which will allow her to sign with another organization.

White said that he had no interest in being in business with Cyborg any longer and he would have an attorney grant her clearance immediately so she could sign with a new promotion.

In addition to that statement, White says that he will continue to push forward with the women’s featherweight division where Amanda Nunes reigns as champion after she knocked out Cyborg last year to win the title.

“What I’ll do is I’ll talk to the champ,” White responded when asked what he plans on doing with the women’s featherweight division. “Cyborg isn’t the future of that division anyway.”

While the women’s featherweight division has been around for more than two years, only a handful of fighters have actually been signed to the UFC specifically to compete at 145 pounds.

With Cyborg leaving, one of the division’s only marquee stars is also gone but White promises that new fighters will be signed to ensure Nunes has worth opposition to face her at featherweight.

Nunes also holds the UFC women’s bantamweight title and White believes she could be the rare instance where a champion could keep and defend both belts simultaneously.

“Yes, absolutely [Amanda Nunes could defend both belts]. If you are one of these 145-pound women out there right now and you want to fight the best in the world, you want to be looked at as the best, it’s Amanda Nunes,” White said.

“We’ll continue to look for talent like Felicia [Spencer], who came in here and fought the other day and continue to bring new challenges for Amanda Nunes and see who’s next.”