UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino vs. Holly Holm — the biggest women’s marquee fight UFC could put on with its current roster — was announced late Thursday for UFC 219 on December 30th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV.
The promotion had been trying to put the fight together, but last week Holm’s agent, Lenny Fresquez, said the match was dead. However, negotiations restarted the past few days and were just completed, giving UFC a championship fight for a PPV that is just over six weeks away.
Justino (18-1-1) won the championship in a UFC weight division that really only has one competitor, herself. She overwhelmed longtime bantamweight Tonya Evinger to win the vacant title earlier this year.
Holm, who also fights at bantamweight, moved up to featherweight to face Germaine de Randamie in the first-ever UFC women’s featherweight championship fight earlier in the year, created partiall because a UFC PPV in Brooklyn needed a main event title match.
De Randamie won the match via close decision, and then was stripped of the title when not facing Justino, who the division was created for.
Holm (11-3), is beat known for beating Ronda Rousey before more than 56,000 fans in Melbourne, Australia, in one of the most memorable moments in UFC history. She followed that up losing three fights in a row before knocking out Bethe Correia in June.
Holm also drew one of the company’s best television ratings of the past several years in a fight against Valentina Shevchenko, which she lost via decision.
Justino has been a major name fighter coming off a Strikeforce featherweight title win over Gina Carano that set a ratings record at the time for Showtime. She lost her title after testing positive for Stanazolol, but has not lost a fight in more than 12 years.