Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino will now fight Tonya Evinger for the UFC women’s featherweight title on July 29 in Anaheim, following the withdrawal of original opponent Megan Anderson.
A bout between Cyborg and Anderson was announced for UFC 214 only last week, but Anderson has now had to cancel those plans due to personal reasons.
“I have been wanting this fight for a long time and finally got the opportunity to showcase my skills on the big stage, but, unfortunately, due to some pressing personal reasons that are out of my control, it is not to be right now,” Anderson wrote on Twitter.
“I am no stranger to struggle and this is the biggest struggle I have faced yet. But, like I always do, I will come back stronger and better than before and I will be coming straight for Cris, the title and becoming the face of the UFC’s 145lb division.
“I am determined and resolved to make history and shock the world. I’m coming for whoever has that belt.”
Missouri’s Tonya Evinger, Anderson’s replacement, is the current Invicta FC bantamweight champion and is unbeaten in her last eleven fights, a run that dates back to September 2011 (and includes one no-contest). She won her current title with a fourth round TKO of Irene Aldana in 2015 and successfully defended it last time out, in March, against Yana Kunitskaya, winning the fight via second-round submission.
A former flyweight champion, Evinger, 19-5 (1 NC), will now face the daunting prospect of making her UFC and featherweight debut against the most feared 145lb female fighter on the planet.
“I think I match up better than any of her other opponents,” Evinger, 36, told UFC.com. “I think my style is really unpredictable. I’m tough and you’ve never seen me in a fight where I got my ass really beat up.
“I think I’m a perfect match-up; I drag people where they don’t want to go and I make a fight hard for them. I don’t fight other people’s fights. It’s a frame of mind. I’m just an old-school wrestler and I think it’s just a frame of mind. We’re tough and we come out there to fight.”