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Cyborg's first featherweight title defence confirmed for UFC 219

The UFC women’s featherweight champion will put her belt on the line against Holly Holm next month.

PA-26316414 UFC women's featherweight champion Cris 'Cyborg' Justino. Source: Geraldo Bubniak/Zuma Press/PA Images

AFTER BEING CROWNED champion back in July, it has been confirmed that Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino will defend her UFC women’s featherweight belt before the year is out.

A long-rumoured bout against Holly Holm, which was held up due to a contract impasse between Cyborg and the UFC, is set to take place at UFC 219 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, 30 December.

With the UFC struggling to get its 145-pound women’s weight class up and running since it was introduced in February, the clash of Cyborg and Holm will only be the third bout to have taken place in the division. The title has been at stake in all three.

Holm lost out to Germaine de Randamie via unanimous decision in the inaugural championship bout. However, de Randamie was later stripped of the belt for her refusal to defend it against Cyborg, who was victorious via third-round TKO against Tonya Evinger in July when the vacant title was subsequently up for grabs.

A 32-year-old native of Brazil, Cyborg (18-1) was a featherweight champion for Strikeforce and Invicta before moving to the UFC in 2016 and embarking on a 3-0 run.

(SP)SINGAPORE-UFC FIGHT NIGHT Holly Holm celebrates after defeating Bethe Corriea in June. Source: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

A former world boxing champion, Holm (11-3) signed for the UFC in 2015 and caused a major upset that November by dethroning the previously undefeated bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey by second-round knockout.

But the 36-year-old from Albuquerque — who has recently been linked to a potential boxing bout against Katie Taylor — then lost her title to Miesha Tate in the first of three consecutive losses, before rebounding with a victory over Bethe Correia earlier this year.

The UFC haven’t confirmed yet if the meeting of Cyborg and Holm will headline UFC 219. Recent speculation suggests that the organisation is working on a potential welterweight title bout between Nate Diaz and champion Tyron Woodley.

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

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