Cristiane Justino has lost her UFC 214 opponent, but she seems on board with the alternative.
After some active campaigning from both fighters, former Invicta FC featherweight champ “Cyborg” Justino was set face Invicta FC 145-pound titleholder Megan Anderson for the UFC’s vacant women’s featherweight title on July 29’s pay-per-view card.
But with Anderson (9-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) pulling out of the fight due to “pressing personal reasons,” Justino (17-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) now meets Invicta’s 135-pound champ, Tonya Evinger (19-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in the co-headlining scrap at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. The bout is still for the women’s featherweight belt.
In a statement sent to Combate.com, “Cyborg” said that not only is she prepared to face whomever, the new fight is going to be even “more exciting” than the original one. She also attributed Anderson’s withdrawal to “irresponsibility” from both her and her management.
“I’m always training to evolve technically with each fight,” the statement, in her native Portuguese, reads. “I’m prepared to fight anyone. As for the change in opponent, we can say it’s the result of Megan’s and her manager’s irresponsibility. As for Tonya, she’s a great opponent. She’s been winning her past 10 fights and is an example of how the world rankings should be independent from the UFC’s rankings.
“Tonya is a top-10 bantamweight and certainly deserves to be in a big platform. It will be a great fight and I believe that, with Tonya, it will be an even more exciting fight for the fans than the fight with Megan. The focus and the plan remain the same: going for the belt. Thank you to all my fans #CyborgNation.”
“Cyborg” had already seemingly thrown a jab Anderson’s way on Twitter on Tuesday, linking the news of the opponent change to footage that she posted of her training with Olympic boxing champion Claressa Shields.
“Looks like my manager isn’t going to let me put up anymore boxing Videos with #Trex for awhile,” Justino said (via Twitter).
The situation adds a fresh coat of drama to the recently-created women’s featherweight class. After Germaine de Randamie beat Holly Holm for its original title, longtime 145-pound queen Justino seemed like the logical choice to challenge the champ. But, due to her public refusal to meet “Cyborg” in the octagon, de Randamie had her title stripped and the Justino vs. Anderson fight was made.
Justino has dominantly won her two UFC scraps, versus Leslie Smith and Lina Lansberg, and hasn’t lost a pro MMA bout since her debut in 2005. Evinger comes off a submission win over Yana Kunitskaya at Invicta FC 22. After having the result of her first meeting with Kunitskaya overturned, she hasn’t suffered an official loss since 2011.
The change also affected July 15’s Invicta FC 24 card, in which Evinger was supposed to meet Helena Kolesnyk in a non-title 145-pound bout. With that off, Milana Dudieva and Mara Romero Borella are now the main event.view original article >>
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