The manager for UFC women's bantamweight champion Holly Holm said he has proposed to UFC officials a 140-pound catchweight fight between Holm and Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino.
Holm's manager, Lenny Fresquez, said he does not believe dethroned champ Ronda Rousey wants a rematch with Holm and thus suggested Cyborg as a possible opponent.
“That’s why I offered the [Cyborg] fight at 140," Fresquez told Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times. "We’d take that fight if Ronda needs more time to make up her mind.”
According to Pugmire, Fresquez indicated that UFC brass didn't give him "a firm response" on his proposal.
The UFC does not have a 145-pound women's division, which is where Justino (15-1-1) competes. She is the current featherweight champion for the all-female Invicta promotion and was the longtime 145-pound titleholder in the defunct Strikeforce promotion.
UFC President Dana White told Pugmire that a 145-pound division is not on the table for the company and he wants Holm to stay at bantamweight.
"[Holm] probably could [fight at 145], but we’re not entertaining the 145-pound division," White told Pugmire. "I think [Holm] will be at 135 the rest of her career."
There was no immediate sense of whether that sentiment ruled out a catchweight bout between Holm and Justino.
Holm is no stranger to competing in weight classes above 135 pounds. Before she turned to MMA full time, Holm routinely competed in both boxing and kickboxing at 140 pounds and up. In 2006, she won the IFBA junior middleweight title after weighing in at 151 pounds.
Cyborg has not lost an MMA bout since her professional debut in 2005. By comparison, Holm (10-0) is a relative newcomer to the sport but instantly reached elite levels when she handed Rousey (12-1) her first professional defeat last November at UFC 193.
Holm is scheduled to make her first title defense on March 5 against Miesha Tate at UFC 196.