Days after the UFC announced that Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie would fight for the inaugural women’s featherweight title at UFC 208, the future of the division seemed in doubt.
The top women’s 145-pound fighter in the world, Cris “Cyborg” Justino, was flagged for a potential anti-doping violation in December and a suspension seemed likely. She tested positive for Spironolactone, a drug used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. It also treats low potassium and is known as a “water pill” or diuretic. Cyborg applied for a retroactive therapeutic use exemption on Dec. 22. According to UFC president Dana White, Justino’s case is looking good for the Brazilian.
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“We did this thing (created the 145-pound division) because Cyborg was freaking out and didn’t want to make 135 or 140. So we pulled the trigger. Then the stuff goes down with her and USADA, which is looking really good now by the way,” White said during an appearance on ESPN’s 5ive Rounds podcast.
“Apparently, the three things that she has is what this medicine is used for, so it’s looking really good. It was looking bad for a minute. Now it’s looking better. We’re in a good place. This fight (Holm vs. de Randamie) is going to happen, and I truly believe whoever wins this title on Saturday night will fight Cyborg for the title,” he added.
White didn’t disclose what medical conditions Justino has, but as the investigation into her case has played out, it has become clear that she was prescribed the medication.
“The drug that she’s taking, she should have immediately let USADA know about it, but it’s legit. She legitimately has these three separate issues and that’s what that drug is used for and the doctors are saying it. It’s looking good for her.”
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