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UFC strips Germaine de Randamie of featherweight title for refusing to fight Cris 'Cyborg' Santos

The UFC on Monday announced it has stripped Germaine de Randamie of her women’s featherweight belt after the Dutch fighter refused to fight No. 1 ranked Cris "Cyborg" Santos.

That means the Southland-trained Brazilian Santos will now fight for the featherweight belt against recently signed Invicta FC featherweight champion Megan Anderson July 29 in the co-main event of UFC 214 at Honda Center.

In a statement, the UFC said de Randamie, who won her belt in February by defeating former bantamweight champion Holly Holm in New York, was being stripped due to her "unwillingness" to fight Santos.

Previously, de Randamie said she needed more time to heal from an injury. Then, she speculated that Santos didn't deserve a title shot after her past brushes with performance-enhancing drug episodes.

"UFC maintains that any champion is expected to accept fights against the top contenders in their respective weight classes in order to maintain the integrity of the sport," the organization announced in its statement.

The UFC 214 main event is a light-heavyweight title rematch between champion Daniel Cormier and former champion Jon Jones.

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

@latimespugmire

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