It’s been a long time coming but finally it seems UFC 219, set for December 30 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, has a main event.
Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino vs. Holly Holm, a fight for the UFC women’s featherweight title, will headline the bumper end of year event, it was confirmed today.
The announcement brings an end to the UFC’s search for a UFC 219 headliner with a little over six weeks to go. It also pairs two of the biggest names in women’s MMA, two fighters who have been inextricably linked since the inception of the UFC’s new and, admittedly, shallow women’s featherweight division.
Thirty-two-year-old Cyborg, 18-1, long considered one of the most fearsome and avoided fighters in women’s MMA, won the vacant women’s featherweight title at UFC 214 when she pummelled Tonya Evinger to defeat inside three rounds. Unbeaten since 2005, she has dominated Leslie Smith and Lina Lansberg in the UFC, and has appeared without any kind of equal for pretty much the entirety of her 12-and-a-half year MMA career.
Holm, meanwhile, got her career back on track in June with a highlight reel head-kick knockout of Bethe Correia. Prior to that she’d lost championship fights against Germaine de Randamie, her only other appearance at featherweight, Valentina Shevchenko and Miesha Tate.
Holm, 11-3, will, of course, forever be remembered as the first women to defeat Ronda Rousey, a feat she achieved in November 2015, winning the UFC women’s bantamweight title in the process. But snap the unbeaten run of Cris Cyborg on December 30 and it could be argued Holm, 36, will have gone one better. She will have also become a two-weight UFC champion.