UFC

Germaine de Randamie focused on return to 135 pounds after winning featherweight title

Germaine de Randamie became the first ever UFC women's featherweight champion with a win over Holly Holm in February but from the look of things it doesn't appear she'll ever defend the title.

Just recently through a message relayed by her manager, de Randamie explained why she was refusing to fight top ranked women's featherweight contender Cris "Cyborg" Justino, but now she's gone even further in her own statement.

De Randamie took to Instagram (via MMAJunkie) to explain her reasons for not facing Cyborg, which all boils down to accusations about performance enhancing drug use.

The fight between me and Cris Cyborg was offered to me last November even then, I had all my reservations but I accepted the fight. Cyborg has rejected the fight because she could not get the weight of [145 pounds] in twelve weeks time. One month later, she was visited by the USADA and did not pass the test. The rest of the story is known," de Randamie said.

"My reason to reject the fight now has nothing but nothing at all to do with my fear. I believe that if you want to do sports you do this without any means that can affect the muscle mass. I, as a top athlete, always trained, always watched my food and put 18 years of my life on sports, without using just one means that is not allowed.

The accusations from de Randamie come after Cyborg was recently granted a retroactive therapeutic use exemption by USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) after she tested positive for a banned substance last year. Cyborg faced no penalty as a result of the drug test due to the exemption granted for legitimate medical need of the banned substance.

In 2011, Cyborg did test positive for steroids following a fight in Strikeforce and she was suspended for one year as a result.

All of de Randamie's reservations about Cyborg aside, it appears she never planned on staying at featherweight even after winning the title.

De Randamie has been competing at bantamweight for most of her career and that's the division where she feels most comfortable. According to de Randamie, she even made the UFC aware of this fact before facing Holm in February with the new title on the line.

During the negotiations on the battle with Holly Holm, I said in advance that after this fight I want to return to my natural weight class of (135 pounds)," de Randamie said. "My task has not been completed yet. The UFC has promised me that this would be no problem and I can just return to my natural weight class. This is why I am focusing on this moment.

Even with that revelation there's still more news because de Randamie still can't say for certain when she'll be able to return to action due to a lingering hand injury that plagued her going into the fight with Holm in February.

Just after winning the belt, de Randamie said that she may require surgery on her hand and it seems that's still a possibility with a doctor's appointment looming for her in June.

There is still a lot of unclear about my hand, de Randamie said. I have an appointment with the doctor on June 14, and it will be decided whether or not to be operated. This option should also be considered for me because there is a great chance that my tendons (and) nerves can cause such damage that I could not use my hand more optimally."

As of now, the UFC has made no official decisions regarding the future of the women's featherweight division. The promotion never added any additional fighters to the division even after de Randamie won the title so it's unclear what will happen next to the 145-pound championship.

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