Mondays Edition of The MMA HOUR ignited interest in fights for the summer, but two days later there have been no announcements made by the UFC.
It has been 48 hours since several of the biggest names in the sport went on The MMA Hour to put together fights for the summer. Despite their best efforts, however, no bouts have been made nor does there seem to be much activity from the UFC on the matter.
During an interview with Invicta featherweight champion Megan Anderson, Cris Cyborg called into state that she was interested in a fight with Australian. The interview was a lightening rod for fans after recent reports began circulating that UFC featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie would at the very least be out of action for the next several months.
That removes her from Cyborg’s desired date in July for the card in Anaheim. Cyborg and Anderson both stated that they were interested and ready for a fight with each other.
Despite the ignited interest in the fight, there remains no confirmation that the two will be matched up in a bout. Instead, the future remains shrouded in mystery for the featherweight title. On Wednesday there were further talks that Cyborg would get her wish to compete for UFC gold on the card but Anderson, so far, was not part of the conversation.
If the UFC is putting something together, they are playing it very close to the chest. Anderson is the most appealing opponent outside of de Randamie and the lack of any other featherweight talent in the UFC makes the situation more confusing.
If not Anderson or de Randamie, then who would be her opponent? Holly Holm is technically the only other featherweight on the roster, but her loss to “The Iron Lady” didn’t have fans clamouring for another title shot for “The Preacher’s Daughter.” Furthermore, the loss put her on a three fight losing streak and she has already signed a fight back at bantamweight against Bethe Correia.
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The organisation is trying to put a division together with several roadblocks regarding the biggest names: De Randamie’s future is up in the air, Anderson is not under contract with the UFC, and Holm is undersized for the featherweight division. This is causing unrest as it would seem that somehow the UFC might be avoiding the options that the fans are demanding.
The other interview that caused a media firestorm was with UFC legend Anderson Silva. During Silva’s interview, he said the UFC had gone back on several guarantees made to him. The first was that he had been told he would face Georges St-Pierre in a super fight should “Rush” return. The current situation in the middleweight division led to intense criticism from the former champion.
Silva then made the statement that he was prepared to retire should the UFC not make a fight for the interim title against Yoel Romero. The interview took a turn when Romero called into the show to state that he wanted the fight with Silva and respected the status of the former kingpin. The fans are ready and the fighters are ready, but with a little over a month left until the date in Rio, there has been no news about a deal in progress.
To add to the situation, a recent photo from Georges St-Pierre has fans and pundits alike wondering if the fight for the middleweight title would not be until November when the UFC returns to Madison Square Garden. That date would push the next fight for the 185 belt to 2018, thus raising the question as to what would happen with contenders like Romero, Robert Whittaker, Luke Rockhold and until then.
The promotion is rolling right through the spring and toward the summer. With a blockbuster card at UFC 211, it could be that the promotion is waiting for the night to announce match-ups for the marquee dates on the calendar. The question will be, will they be the blockbuster matches that fans have come to expect from the biggest organisation in the sport.