New Champion has Uncertain Future

ufc-208A new era in women’s fighting began as the UFC hosted their second fight in New York with women headlining the card all to determine a champion of a new division.

It was well reported that the UFC never wanted to have women fighting in the UFC until Ronda Rousey changed Dana White’s mind.

The reasoning behind White’s original claim was that there was simply not enough talent to make things interesting in the division.

Yes, there was Rousey who had the potential, a potential that she met, to be the biggest crossover star the UFC had ever seen.

Beyond Rousey though there wasn’t a lot of other fighters that anyone knew despite the women’s division in Strikeforce.

If women were allowed in the UFC would it just be a showcase of Rousey running through the same few fighters?

Eventually White realised the star power that Rousey had and he threw caution to the wind by creating the bantamweight division.

For the most part, it was Rousey running through everyone in women’s fighting and despite the lack of challengers, Rousey made it interesting.

Then more fighters began to make their way to the UFC and women’s fighting began to take on a new level.

Although Rousey was still a dominant champion more fighters brought the level of fighting up and the competition was suddenly there.

That sprung a new women’s division in the strawweights who once again faced the issue of competition when the division was created.

How many fighters could they really get to compete at a level that the promotion has established?

It turned out they could get a lot as The Ultimate Fighter produced the first champion and since then it has been one of the more exciting divisions with Joana Jedrzejczyk making one of the top fighters on the roster.

The UFC is doing it again and this time there is still that lingering question of the amount of competition at a new women’s weight class.

This time it might be slightly different though as the strawweights are a more common weight for women while the bantamweights are a bigger but still deep pool.

The new featherweight division will require women at 145 lbs, which is not a common weight class for most women fighters.

These fighters are almost like the heavyweights for men as they are the top weight class for women fighters.

There is no doubt that this division was originally conceived to bring Cris “Cyborg” Justino into the UFC on a permanent basis.

With her gone and possibly out for at least a year the new division is a bit of a mystery as to what will happen.

Will there be enough women able to fight at that higher weight class? Are they worthwhile for the UFC to sign and truly make a division?

Most of all is the competition going to be at the level that the UFC expects because if it isn’t this could be a short-lived division.

Going forward past UFC 208 in Brooklyn the future of the division is going to be unknown but for one night there was one thing that was for sure.

That was that there would be a new champion in the UFC and one woman was going to walk away with a new belt to be the first women’s featherweight division champion in UFC history.

With Cyborg out the UFC selected two of the best options to fight for the new title in Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie.

They came into the fight as two of the most decorated fighters in the UFC but largely due to their lives before MMA.mma-sidebar.fw

Holm was a world-class boxer and is still considered one of the greatest ever while de Randamie was a world champion Muay Thai fighter and kickboxer.

There is nobody with as many championships outside of MMA as these two women and so they were very appropriately tagged for the featherweight title.

With their stand-up background, it was likely that both were going to test their experience standing up.

From the start, it seemed like Holm was not at the same level when it came to the striking but that didn’t stop her from adjusting.

After taking some big shots eventually Holm adjusted her game and looked to clinch while becoming less aggressive against the counter-striking of de Randamie.

For the last few rounds it seemed like Holm was taking control of the fight but when the judges put in their scorecards it was de Randamie who took the decision.

What makes the fight more interesting is the fact that de Randamie threw late shots twice in the fight hitting Holm after the bell in two rounds.

The first one was bad but many question why there wasn’t a point taken away after the second time she did it in this fight.

If that point had been taken away this fight would have ended in a draw rather than a win by de Randamie making a massive difference in the result of the fight.

That will be debated for a while but the other debate will be about the next shot at this new belt.

Cyborg is the obvious choice but she is facing a 1-year USADA ban and might not be available for de Randamie when the champion is ready to fight again.

That leaves a potential rematch or some new faces in the UFC coming from Invicta or even some 135 lbs fighters making the jump.

There are options as the new division will need to be figured out this year as the champion awaits a challenger in the women’s featherweight division.

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