The curse of the UFC women’s featherweight division continues, with former Invicta FC champion Megan Anderson reportedly out of UFC 214. Current bantamweight champion Tonya Evinger now steps up to fight Cris “Cyborg” Justino.
ESPN journalist Brett Okamoto reported the news in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
BREAKING: Megan Anderson is out of UFC 214 next month. Cyborg will remain on card and face Invicta 135 champ Tonya Evinger. Story to come.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) June 28, 2017
His report claimed that former Invicta interim-featherweight champion Anderson had withdrawn from next month’s championship fight citing ‘personal reasons’.
The long awaited showdown between Cyborg and Anderson was slated for the co-main event slot on the Anaheim, California pay-per-view card, which is to be headlined by the light-heavyweight title rematch between Daniel Cormier (c) and Jon Jones.
Cyborg and Anderson were scheduled to compete for the vacant featherweight championship on July 29 after the belt was stripped from Germaine de Randamie earlier this month “due to her unwillingness to fight the No. 1 ranked contender, Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino.”
With the featherweight roster yet to be fully developed by the UFC, options were seemingly limited when searching for Anderson’s replacement.
Former UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm could have received a title rematch – she lost the inaugural title fight to de Randamie – but has instead elected to take some time off following her stunning knockout of Bethe Correia in Singapore earlier this month.
However, bantamweight counterpart and current Invicta 135-pound champion Evinger will make the jump to the UFC to save the fight; receiving a title opportunity against one of the most feared featherweights on the planet.
Interestingly, this will be the second time Evinger takes a spot which was intended for Anderson. Last week, it was announced that the 36-year-old from Missouri would headline Invicta FC 24 in a featherweight non-title fight against Helena Kolesnyk, filling in for Anderson who was released to pursue the UFC.
Invicta has yet to announce a replacement for Evinger on their July 15 card, which will take place in Kansas City, Mo.