Former Invicta featherweight champion Megan Anderson was supposed to make her Octagon debut last summer at UFC 214 against Cris Cyborg, but personal issues forced her to the sidelines and out of the fight.
Last week, Anderson’s promotional debut was announced against former UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm for UFC 225, to the surprise of many who thought she would make her Octagon bow against Cyborg.
Having booked the Cyborg fight at one stage, Anderson admitted that is has been difficult watching the likes of Yana Kunitskaya being pitted against the Brazilian champion.
“It was super difficult,” Anderson told Ariel Helwani on the latest episode of The MMA Hour.
“The Holly and Cris fight wasn’t a shock; I knew that they were planning to book that fight. But the Kunitskaya fight, I was like, ‘Come on!’”
The Australian explained how she had no idea who she was going to fight ahead of the UFC 225 booking.
“I didn’t know who I was going to fight. They gave us some dates but they didn’t give us any names. I didn’t know until Tuesday, so they could’ve come back with Cris or they could’ve come back with anyone,” she said.
“I was just preparing for a date and then on Tuesday at about 5:20, right before I was about to start practice, I got the call with the Holly fight. It’s not Cris, but I’m finally happy to get back in the cage.”
UFC stood by Anderson for nearly a year as she dealt with her personal issues. For that reason, she claims she was happy to fight anyone the promotion put in front of her.
“If they wanted me against Cris, I’d fight Cris. I don’t think a lot of people really understand. I’m not in a position to demand opponents. [UFC] signed me and kept me while I’ve had all this personal stuff going on, so the UFC put a lot of faith in me by keeping me around,” Anderson explained.
“I’m not really in a position to choose who I fight, so it’s one of those things where whatever name they had given me, we didn’t care. We just have a date and a name and that’s all that matters.”
With a win over Holm, Anderson believes she will book a featherweight title showdown against Cyborg.
And although she has met the champion and thinks she is a “lovely person”, she thinks the version of Cyborg that is portrayed on social media doesn’t represent who she is in real life.
“I respect Cris and I think Cris is a lovely person, but the Cris that’s portrayed on social media is not necessarily someone that I would look up to or I would respect,” she said.
“I have met Cris in person and she is lovely, she’s nice and she’s respectful. But then, I think what’s portrayed on social media is very different to how she is in person, so I don’t know. Which one is the real Cris?”
As far as Anderson is concerned, she will be well able to challenge Cyborg for her title.
“From what I’ve seen, I think my strengths match up very well with Cris,” she said.