The UFC announced late last year of their commitment to a women’s 145-pound division. Now, we are a week away from crowning the first ever UFC featherweight champion of the world.
Ironically enough, the UFC has decided to introduce the division by placing two bantamweights in the running for championship gold. Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie are set to scrap in Brooklyn, Saturday, February 11th and the winner will forever etch their name in women’s mixed martial arts history as the first ever champion at 145-pounds.
Although the championship will be on the line, the UFC has yet to fully commit to the division as there are no women currently signed.
The potential UFC featherweight division
Finally, the UFC has decided to commit to a 145-pound division. At UFC 208, they will crown their undisputed featherweight champion of the world. What's mind blowing is Holly Holm and Germain de Randamie will be fighting to immortalize themselves in MMA history. As we all know, Dana White's commitment to the division is questionable at times, so I've gathered a list of the best fighters to ever step foot inside the Octagon at 145-pounds.
The most anticipated UFC debut goes to Invicta's interim featherweight champion, Megan Anderson. Not only did Anderson call out Dana White after destroying Charmaine Tweet at Invicta FC 21, she also told both Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie, to "keep her belt warm." Cutting what is considered an early candidate for 2017 Promo of the Year, Anderson could easily help build the the UFC's 145-pound division. She's powerful, marketable, and not afraid of anyone in her way of undisputed gold. Ideally, the UFC would put her up against the winner of the main event at UFC 208. If they decide not to; they should at least sign her, let her debut and showcase her talents. If the UFC is looking for a replacement while the mixed martial arts world awaits Cyborg's future, they have it in Megan Anderson.
Cyborg is undoubtably the best pound-for-pound fighter in women's mixed martial arts; however, with her recent failed drug tests, her future is currently in question. She's talented, relentless, and scary inside the octagon. She's also a true pioneer of the sport and did everything in her power to get her division noticed, even if it meant showcasing the extremes of weight cutting. I'm sure the division will develop and evolve, leading to big matches for Cyborg when she returns.
With only two losses under her belt, Julia Budd is a no-brainer when it comes to talent the UFC should sign. Her two losses come from UFC champions: Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey. Besides that, Budd has been on a rampage, taking out contenders in both Invicta and Bellator. She already has a win over Charmaine Tweet and current featherweight title contender, Germaine de Randamie. She hasn't lost since 2011 and is currently scheduled to face Marloes Coenen for Bellator's inaugural 145-pound strap in March. After capturing the belt, Budd may also want to make more money being in the UFC.
Tweet gave Anderson some problems in their fight at Invicta FC 21. It looked like Tweet was going to pull off the KO in the first round, after some nice hits landed to the chin of Anderson. Regardless, Tweet not only showcased heart and talent, she also proved that she still has it in her to face any up-and-coming hype the UFC will generate with the introduction of the Featherweights. In any division, depth is important and Tweet can bring that to the table. She also has a mean spinning back fist.
It's only right. She's done so much for women's mixed martial arts and she's still going strong. Coenen meets Budd on March 3rd at Bellator 174 for the inaugural featherweight championship, only a month after the UFC crowns their own 145-pound champ. If Coenen comes out with the gold strap, she could easily pave herself a way to the UFC and eventually fight for the undisputed gold strap. It'll be interesting to see how many more fights Coenen has left in her. If she's willing to go a few more, I definitely think she should look at fighting in the UFC before retiring from mixed martial arts. Aside from the belt, it's the only thing that is missing to complete her legacy in the sport.
It's evident that Dufresne was unhappy during her time with the UFC. So much that she made an effort to tell the world that she was not the fighter they saw during her 0-2 run in the bantamweight division. Like Cyborg, Dufresne voiced her concern for weight cutting and since going back to her weight-class, has never looked better. Coming off the biggest win of her career, against Bellator's Marloes Coenen, Dufresne could surely claim a spot on the UFC's roster as a featherweight. She's already made a statement when she took out 145-pound title contender.
Talita Nogueira was set on the path to Bellator stardom as she was booked to take on Marloes Coenen at Bellator 163. It was later announced that Nogueira missed weight by 5.6 pound and the bout was scraped from the card. Although she most recently signed to Bellator, Talita could easily climb the ladder before eyeing the UFC. She's currently undefeated in mixed martial arts at 6-0. I say Bellator should book her against Dufresne or a top contender before giving her a shot at the belt. Regardless of what comes next for Nogueira, the UFC should keep the undefeated prospect on their radar.
Miller is a USA Olympic bronze medalist. Although Miller most recently made her mixed martial arts debut, this is another talent the UFC should keep on their radar. At 1-0, Miller has so much potential to destroy women in Invicta's 145-pound division. Olympic-caliber athletes always do well in the UFC; they are used to weight cutting and dedicating their lives to the sport. Miller has trained with Cat Zingano and I believe that with a few more fights under her belt, she could easily make the transition into the major leagues and help Dana build the featherweight division.