UFC 219: Cris Cyborg, Holly Holm in class of their own
By Brian Martin
LAS VEGAS — The MMA world is in for a treat Saturday. Just don’t peek too much behind the curtain.
Two of the top female strikers in the UFC will go toe to toe in the main event at UFC 219 as Cris Cyborg defends her featherweight belt against former bantamweight champion Holly Holm at T-Mobile Arena.
Not to rain on the momentous 145-pound clash, but it’s difficult to ignore the bleak division in the middle of the room.
“It’s just kind of there,” Holm said.
Cyborg (18-1, 1 NC) and Holm (11-3) are currently it in the UFC’s 145-pound division, for which there are no UFC rankings because there are no other fighters.
The UFC has held a grand total of two women’s featherweight fights. Both were for the title. Both were this year.
Two of those four fighters (inaugural champion Germaine de Randamie and contender Tonya Evinger) have moved back down to bantamweight. The other two are fighting Saturday.
“We’ll see what happens. We’ll see if this weight class really grows or not. I’m just glad I’m able to make 135 or 145 and I have opportunities, said Holm, who lost a controversial title decision to de Randamie in February and is attempting to become the first woman to win UFC titles in two weight classes.
So here we are with one of the most exciting women’s fights of the year, yet little hope for the division after it.
Compare that with the birth of the UFC’s other women’s divisions.
Ronda Rousey helped start the women’s MMA wave after she was coronated as the UFC’s bantamweight champion in late 2012 and beat Liz Carmouche at Honda Center in Anaheim in February 2013 in the first women’s fight ever held by the UFC. Yet before that fight even took place, fighters like Miesha Tate, Cat Zingano, Sara McMann and […]