At last UFC 219 has the big title fight it’s been looking for with women’s featherweight champion Chris ‘Cyborg’ Justino and former bantamweight queen Holly Holm finally agreeing to terms for the event in Las Vegas on December 30th.
The two fighters had been playing hardball with the UFC over the past few months as they looked to get paid accordingly for the high profile match-up, with Cyborg having withdrawn from talks claiming that the promotion were trying to pay her less than her last fight, while Holm’s manager later said the deal was dead and buried after their pay demands weren’t met.
It seems their strategy has paid off in the end though, helped by the fact the UFC have been struggling to come up with an alternative fight that could potentially lead the pay-per-view in six weeks time.
‘Cyborg’ won the vacant 145lb title back in July at UFC 214 with a convincing win over former Invicta FC champ Tonya Evinger, which marked her third victory since joining the UFC last year.
The Brazilian star is now unbeaten in her past 19 fights and is widely considered to be the most feared woman in all of mixed martial arts, which has meant that at times she’s struggled to find suitable opponents.
The 36-year-old Holm has never been afraid to take risks and challenge herself, however, as was proven when she left a successful and decorated career as a multi-time boxing champion in order to pursue an MMA career that would eventually lead to her shocking the world by knocking out Ronda Rousey to win the 135lb title in 2015.
At that stage Holm looked like she was on the cusp of becoming a huge star herself, but she wasn’t able to maintain the 10-0 record she’d built up to that point as she then went on to lose her next three fights in a row, including a previous unsuccessful attempt to win the featherweight title.
However, Holm bounced back in June with a head kick KO win over Bethe Correia and now gets a second chance to fight for the 145lb belt and also slay another WMMA giant.
Cyborg Vs Holm joins a UFC 217 card that already has a number of fights booked, including Khabib Nurmagomedov’s return against Edson Barboza, Carlos Condit Vs Neil Magny and Cynthia Calvillo Vs Carla Esparza,