Title fight booked for newest UFC weight class

The UFC has created a new weight class and booked a title fight for UFC 208 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Holly Holm will fight Germaine de Randamie for the inaugural women’s featherweight title at the Feb. 11 event.

UFC officials confirmed an ESPN report on Tuesday night’s SportsCenter.

The 145-pound women’s division will be the 11th weight class recognized by the organization and the third for females.

Holm is a former champion at bantamweight. She took the belt by knocking out former champion Ronda Rousey in November 2015, but lost her next two fights.

De Randamie has also been competing at bantamweight. She is 3-1 in the UFC, including two straight wins.

The UFC has long been hesitant to create a 145-pound division, citing a lack of depth in the talent pool. Star fighter Cris “Cyborg” Justino has lobbied for the weight class because she insists she can’t make 135 pounds.

Justino has competed in two catchweight bouts at 140 pounds and was offered a spot in the inaugural 145-pound title fight against both Holm and de Randamie, but declined. Her manager recently announced Justino simply needed more time to prepare for the fight as the weight cuts even to 145 pounds are taxing on her body.

Justino will almost certainly be the top contender in the division after a champion is crowned.

The 115-pound women’s strawweight division was the last division added to the UFC in 2014.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.

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