Cristiane Justino is once again beating the drum for the UFC to introduce a 145-pound women’s featherweight division.
Justino (16-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC), the current Invicta FC featherweight champ, made her official and long-awaited UFC debut at UFC 198 in May, when she stopped Leslie Smith by first-round TKO in a 140-pound catchweight fight.
Getting down to that weight was a challenge for the Brazilian, she said, and it’s something she would be willing to do again only for marquee matchups.
Although fights against the likes of former UFC women’s bantamweight titleholders Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate and Holly Holm have all been suggested for “Cyborg” in the past, none havs come to fruition inside the octagon.
Justino said in a recent post on her official Facebook page that she’s sick of waiting. Many consider Justino the sport’s top pound-for-pound female fighter, and because of that, she said she shouldn’t have to chase the big fights. She wants the UFC to add a 145-pound division for women and bring the names to her:
"Every UFC Banatamweight in the history of the female division has fought at 145lbs. Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, and Amanda Nunes.
None of these girls have ever fought lighter than 135lbs.
Currently there is not 1 girl in the bantamweight division's top 10 to have fought their entire career at 135 and Half of the girls ranked in the Bantamweight Top 10 are on a losing streak.
I am the only MMA World Champion to have ever successfully went down in weight to compete in a Superfight while still holding the world title.
I deserve my own division.
These girls didn't want to fight me in my weight class and now fans want me to face them for no belt, or risk my health to chase theirs...this is not fair.
I've earned the right to fight in my division and women deserve an equal opportunity to compete.
#1 P4P female fighter in MMA according to ESPN.
Whatever you do don't miss my next fight...I am going to show the world why these girls left the division...media guys there is your story for the slow news week."
As she wrote: “Every UFC banatamweight in the history of the female division has fought at 145lbs – Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, and Amanda Nunes. None of these girls have ever fought lighter than 135lbs.
“Currently there is not one girl in the bantamweight division’s top 10 to have fought their entire career at 135 and half of the girls ranked in the bantamweight top 10 are on a losing streak.”
Although weight-cutting is an integral part of MMA, it’s also optional for most fighters. They can choose to cut a potentially unhealthy amount of weight to be the biggest fighter possible in a given division – or avoid weight-cutting in order to compete at a more natural size while better hydrated and nourished.
In the UFC, though, Justino doesn’t have that option since the organization has only 135- and 115-pound weight classes. After years of UFC President Dana White saying “Cyborg” would need to get down to 135 pounds to fight in the UFC, officially finally gave in and booked Justino to compete at a special catchweight of 140 pounds at UFC 198.
That’s still not good enough for Justino, she said. She wants a full 145-pound division in which she can ideally gain the notoriety of a UFC titleholder.
“I deserve my own division,” Justino wrote. “I am the only MMA world champion to have ever successfully went down in weight to compete in a superfight while still holding the world title.
“These girls didn’t want to fight me in my weight class and now fans want me to face them for no belt, or risk my health to chase theirs…this is not fair.”
UFC officials have recently hinted at the possibility of a 125-pound women’s flyweight division, but a 145-pound featherweight weight class doesn’t appear to be in their plans. Justino said that’s unfair and plans to continue fighting for what she wants.
“I’ve earned the right to fight in my division and women deserve an equal opportunity to compete,” Justino wrote. “Whatever you do don’t miss my next fight…I am going to show the world why these girls left the division.”