After her victory against Felicia Spencer at UFC 240, Dana White confirmed to the media that the company would not be resigning Cris Cyborg following a fall out shortly after the event. Cyborg leaving the company raised major questions about the future of the 145-pound women’s division considering the fact the division was created solely so Cyborg could fight with the company. If you look beyond the horizon, the current picture of the 145 division is not a pretty one.
The current women’s Featherweight champion is Amanda Nunes, who won the belt after knocking out Cyborg in 51 seconds last December at UFC 232. Since then, Nunes has yet to defend the belt and there is a good chance she never will. Last Saturday, reports stated that Nunes has agreed to a December title fight against Germaine de Randamie at UFC 245. The fact that the fight was announced surprised no one seeing how de Randamie is the best fight to make with Cyborg now out of the picture. What did surprise people was the fight will be for the bantamweight championship (135 pounds) and NOT the 145 title. Germaine de Randamie was the inaugural UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion but was stripped of the title because she refused to fight Cris Cyborg. But now that Cyborg is gone, many believed she would challenge Nunes to win back the title she never lost in the cage, especially when Nunes has stated her intention to defend both titles, but it looks like that will not happen.
So if you are asking the question, who is going to challenge Amanda Nunes at 145? The answer looks to be Megan Anderson or quite literally bust. With 15 UFC events remaining in 2019, there is only ONE women’s featherweight bout set and that is Megan Anderson vs. Zarah Fairn Dos Santos at UFC 243 from Melbourne, Australia which also happens to be the home country of Anderson.
Anderson’s UFC career has been very disappointing so far. After going 8-2 and being a highly praised prospect in the 145 division, Anderson is only 1-2 in the UFC. She was dominated by Holly Holm back at UFC 225, last December at UFC 232, she managed to beat Cat Zingano after the fight was stopped due to an eye injury, and during her last fight at UFC Fight Night: dos Anjos vs. Lee, she was submitted by Felicia Spencer in the 1st round.
Now Anderson’s record doesn’t suggest that the future of Women’s featherweights is in good hands, but this is where we are. Cris Cyborg is gone, Cat Zingano recently left the company after refusing to re-sign. Felicia Spencer, who beat Megan Anderson just got dominated by Cyborg who is no longer with the company. With Germaine de Randamie fighting Nunes at bantamweight, the UFC has no fighters to present to Nunes at 145 unless Anderson gets a win against Dos Santos…and even that might not be enough. It’s very likely the UFC will look at Megan Anderson’s fight in Australia and decide whether they should cut their losses with women’s featherweight fighting.
Women’s featherweight is the only division in the UFC that doesn’t have a top 10 ranking because they don’t even have 10 fighters. With that in mind, it would not be crazy to see Megan Anderson get the next title shot at 145 because honestly, who else does the UFC have? No one. However, if Anderson goes 1-3, the company will likely declare the 145 division to be a failure as the talent simply isn’t there to justify its existence. If Megan wins, she may be able to buy the featherweights sometime for them to scout more talent and bring in some contenders. If not, UFC 243 could be the last time we see a women’s featherweight bout in the company for some time.