Whilst the UFC will introduce a 145-pound women’s division in 2017, UFC President Dana White says there are no other plans to add more weight classes next year. In June, Joanne Calderwood defeated Valerie Letourneau in a bout contested at 125 pounds, leading to speculation that the UFC was moving toward adding a female flyweight division. Shortly thereafter, Jedrzejczyk, the reigning 115-pound queen, expressed a desire to hold a title at 125 pounds as well.
However, according to White the featherweight division wasn’t meant to be happening either, he hints at possibly regretting the decision to announce the division due to the recent problems with Cris “Cyborg”.
[There are no plans to add new weight classes in 2017]. That was never the plan to do that one [145 pounds] either, but who knows,” White said during a media scrum in Las Vegas on Wednesday. “Maybe one of those two will win the belt, we’ll find a contender and we’ll see how this all plays out.”
First, “Cyborg” turned down a pair of featherweight title fights, claiming that she needed 12 weeks to be able to cut to 145 pounds following a brutal cut to 140 pounds for a bout at UFC Fight Night 95 on Sept. 24. More recently, the Brazilian tested positive for a diuretic in an out-of-competition sample and could be facing a one-year suspension from USADA.
“The plans that I had for 145, it didn’t go the way I thought it was going to go” White said. “Both of those girls wanted to fight Cyborg. Stylistically, they were both great matchups for Cyborg, Germaine and Holly. Cyborg got her 145-pound title in her division and that all blew up on me.”
When Cyborg signed on with the UFC, White said it was never a consideration to create a new weight class for her.
Instead, he claims the Brazilian was willing to make 135 pounds for an eventual showdown with Ronda Rousey.
“If you were in the discussion when she came on board, she was 100 percent into cutting down to 35,” White said. “She met with Lorenzo [Fertitta] and their plan was to get to 135. Obviously that’s the money division. But maybe she could have turned [featherweight] into something. But that was never the original plan.”
It seems White’s backup plan could be to allow Ronda Rousey to challenge the winner of Holm VS de Randamie for the 145lb belt in a bid to become a two weight division champion. He recently revealed Cyborg has missed the bus, and Rousey could challenge Holm for the belt, if the two are to emerge victorious.
Ronda Rousey will challenge Amanda Nunes for the UFC 135lb bantamweight championship tonight at UFC 207 from the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada. The event will be aired live on PPV.
Meanwhile, Holly Holm will face off against Germaine de Randamie to crown the inaugural UFC 145lb featherweight champion at UFC 208 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on February 11th, 2017.