Ronda Rousey’s upset loss to Holly Holm will keep Cristiane Justino in the featherweight division for the time being.
Invicta Fighting Championships President Shannon Knapp revealed on ”Inside MMA” Friday night that “Cyborg” will remain at 145 pounds for her next bout with the all-female promotion.
“Cyborg’s next fight will be at 145 pounds,” Knapp said. “This will be the first time that she has competed without hydrating herself with an IV, so she’s made the decision to go ahead and defend her belt.”
Justino will face Cindy Dandois in a featherweight title bout at Invicta FC 15 on Jan. 16 at the Hangar at OC Fair in Costa Mesa, Calif. The card will air on UFC Fight Pass and also includes a strawweight championship clash between Livia Renata Souza and DeAnna Bennett.
When Rousey was UFC bantamweight champion, Justino was expected to gradually work her way down to 135 pounds in order to set up a matchup with the Olympic judoka in the Octagon. UFC President Dana White has said that “Cyborg” would have to prove she could make 135 pounds in Invicta before the Rousey bout could occur; fighting Dandois at a 140-pound catch-weight was supposed to be the first step in that process.
While Holm’s upset of Rousey changed the landscape of the women’s 135-pound division considerably, Knapp still thinks Justino could eventually try to make the cut to bantamweight sometime in the future.
“Cris is a UFC athlete, so the discussions about what she does in the future certainly goes on between them, but I think that especially with the announcement that Holly and Ronda will have a rematch, I think it does kind of take it off the table for her. It kind of shelves it for a bit,” Knapp said.
“But I still think that there’s a desire there at some point. That’s still a fight I’d like to see, whether it’s Ronda or Holly or whoever it is.”