The UFC’s decision to leave Invicta FC champ Cristiane Justino out of the promotion’s first title fight at the newly-created women’s 145-pound division raised some eyebrows.
Now, in light of Justino’s possible U.S. Anti-Doping Agency violation, it just looks like they dodged a bullet. At least that seems to be the sentiment for UFC president Dana White, who spoke to TMZ approximately 30 minutes after hearing the news.
“It’s funny how things work,” White said. “That I ended up making this Holly (Holm) and Germaine (de Randamie) fight at 145, which is perfect now.”
White, who’d talked about three failed attempts to get “Cyborg” a fight in the division she’d long been asking the UFC to create, didn’t want to speculate too much since it’s now up to USADA and Jeff Novitzky to handle the situation (USADA officials did later confirm that Justino’s failed test was due to the detection of Spironolactone, as her team claimed).
But he said he does think Justino’s “strange” recurrent refusals make a lot more sense now.
“First of all, I was offering these fights at 145 pounds,” White said. “First fight, she had eight weeks to get ready. Second fight, she had 11 weeks to get ready. And third fight, she just turned down, and I thought it was strange.
“So she was turning down all these fights. … Not so strange now.”
Asked about whether he thinks former bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey – a longtime critic of “Cyborg” and her previous doping incident in 2011 – will take the “I told you so” route, White thinks she’ll probably not be the only one.
“Yeah, Ronda will probably say that,” White said. “I’m sure a lot of people will say that.”
As for Justino’s future in the organization?
“This will be the second time,” White said. “I don’t know, I can’t answer that. We’ll have to see how this thing plays out.”