The UFC announced last night on social media the main event for UFC 208 to be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Albuquerque’s own Holly Holm will fight Germaine De Randamie from the Netherlands for the first ever UFC women’s featherweight championship. The featherweight division is 145 pounds, which will be a ten pound gain for each fighter who usually fight at bantamweight (135).
If Holm (10-2, 3-2 UFC) wins the fight, she will become the fourth fighter in the UFC to hold championship belts in two different divisions. She would join elite company of Conor McGregor, BJ Penn, and Randy Couture. “How awesome is that? In my dream world, I want to win the 145 pound belt and get back the 135 pound belt I lost,” said Holm in an interview with Brett Okamoto of ESPN.
Holm lost her 135 pound belt to the now retired Miesha Tate back in March after taking it from longtime reigning champion Ronda Rousey. She is also coming off of a loss to Valentina Shevchenko in July.
As for De Randamie (6-3, 3-1 UFC), this is her first title shot in any division while fighting in the UFC. She fought in her home country, the Netherlands, back in May and secured a win over Anna Elmose. She is a former professional kickboxer, just like Holm was.
This news comes about a week after it was reported by mmafighting.com that Holm’s camp agreed to fight Cris “Cyborg” Justino (16-1, 1NC, 2-0 UFC), the dominating Invicta FC featherweight champion at a catchweight 140 pounds. “We said yes to fighting Cris at a catchweight before all this took place,” Holm said. Cyborg turned the fight down, and then was offered to fight De Randamie at catchweight, turning that one down as well. She mentioned that the weight cut in her previous two UFC fights which were at a 140 pound catchweight were brutal, and she could not take another one of those again.
Although, when Cyborg spoke with Okamoto of ESPN after the fight was announced, she said she was “saddened” and felt “disrespected.” Cyborg had, that past day, taken the oath to become an official United States citizen. “Yesterday, they said they had no girls to make this division. Today, they rush to make a belt. They are saying something to me,” she said in a brief phone interview. UFC president Dana White disputed the claims made by Cyborg, mentioning that the organization offered the fights to Cyborg before she turned them down.
Along with this fight being booked as the main event, two other fights were announced to be put on the card. A heavyweight fight between veteran Glover Teixiera and Jared Cannonier was confirmed, and a flyweight matchup between Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall and Neil Seery.