The UFC women's featherweight title will be on the line this July, but with a new challenger looking to get the belt. The Invicta FC 145-pound champ Megan Anderson was forced to withdraw from her challenge of Cris "Cyborg" Justino at UFC 214 on Tuesday night for personal reasons, leaving UFC with a void to fill. In steps Invicta's 135-pound champion Tonya Evinger.
The 145-pound title will still be on the line, despite Evinger having never fought at the 145-pound limit. Anderson released a brief statement after the bout was officially off.
"I have been wanting this fight for a long time and finally got the opportunity to showcase my skills on the big stage, but unfortunately due to some pressing persinal reasons that are out of my control, it is not to be right now," Anderson said. "I am no stranger to struggle and this is the biggest struggle I have faced yet, but like I always do, I will come back stronger and better than before and I will be come straight for Cris, the title and becoming the face of the UFC 145 lb division.
I am determined and resolved to make history and shock the world. I'm coming for whoever has that belt."
Anderson is 8-2 in her MMA career and riding a four-fight winning streak. Her most recent victory earned her the interim Invicta FC featherweight title, which was later installed to full time champion. Evinger, meanwhile, is 19-5 with one No Contest. Although the No Contest was recent, Evinger's last loss came in 2011 against now UFC fighter Sara McMann.
It's an interesting turn of events for Cyborg, who ranted and raved to get this opportunity against Anderson after Germaine de Randamie openly said she would not fight her. Now, she is still getting the title shot, but against a fighter who is not used to the size Cyborg will be in the Octagon. But as noted above, Evinger is no pushover. She will give Cyborg all she can handle.