This Saturday night, Cris Cyborg will be fighting Tonya Evinger for the vacant UFC women’s featherweight title. The inaugural belt was won by the Netherlands’ Germaine de Randamie, who edged out Holly Holm at UFC 208 in February, but that fight was marred by de Randamie throwing shots after the horn had sounded to end rounds 2 and 3. De Randamie has since been stripped of the belt after openly refusing to face Cyborg.
With her very brief reign as UFC champion now over, de Randamie appeared on The MMA Hour on Monday to discuss the wave of hurtful social media comments and harassment over the past several months, including remarks from fans saying she should kill herself. (Transcription via MMA Fighting)
“That goes deep,” she said. “It’s not only for me. This involves many other people. How many kids have been bullied, have committed suicide? I think that’s horrible. My only mission in life is to share what I love so much with the people that love it as much as I do.
“I’m talking about a lot of people who told me I should commit suicide and that I’m worthless. I’ve never been rock bottom, but it did hurt me. It hurt me because people think it’s OK to write something to somebody like that.”
The primary reason for de Randamie not wanting to fight Cyborg is Cris’ history of steroid use, but she also noted that she wouldn’t have been able to fight at UFC 214 due to her job as a police officer in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam.
“We decided not to take the fight, not only because of the steroid thing or me being against people who abuse substances,” de Randamie said. “I was not going to be ready July 29. I have a full-time job. Fighting for me right now is a hobby. I don't live a fighter life.
Cyborg was suspended by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) after testing positive for stanozolol in her 2011 win over Hiroko Yamanaka, and was stripped of her Strikeforce title. More recently, Cyborg was flagged for a potential USADA violation after testing positive for the banned diuretic spironolactone, but received a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).
“I understand the people do not agree with my decision. I understand that people disagree with it very big. But besides people disagreeing, I’ve been through a lot of shit. People have accused me and said the most horrible things to me. That’s one of the reasons I’ve stayed out of the media.”
Germaine de Randamie will return to bantamweight to face Marion Reneau at UFC Fight Night: Rotterdam on Saturday, September 2nd. You can watch de Randamie’s full interview with Helwani at the top of the page.