The UFC announced on Thursday that Cris “Cyborg” Justino will defend her featherweight title against Holly Holm at UFC 219 on December 19th in Las Vegas. It’s still unknown if the fight will be the night’s main event.
Germaine de Randamie defeated Holm at the inaugural Women’s Featherweight Championship earlier this year. She was then stripped off her belt for refusing to defend her title against Cris Cyborg on that grounds that Cyborg is, as her manager said in a statement, “a known and proven cheater.” It paved the way for Cyborg to fight Tonya Evinger at UFC 214 instead, where she went on to capture her first UFC championship by TKO in the third round.
This will mark Holm’s second career fight in the featherweight division. She previously competed at bantamweight, with her biggest victory coming against Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 in 2015. After losing to de Randamie at UFC 208, Holm returned to the bantamweight division to fight Bethe Correia, whom she knocked out in the third round with a brutal headkick. It was Holm’s first victory in her four fights since defeating Rousey.
The fight between Cyborg and Holm has been several months in the making. Holm revealed in August that she was open to facing Cyborg, but her agent said earlier this month that the deal was “dead” because the two sides couldn’t come to financial terms.