Cris “Cyborg”Justino will defend her UFC women’s featherweight belt against former bantamweight champion Holly Holm on Dec. 30 in the likely main event for UFC 219 in Las Vegas.
Costa Mesa-trained Justino (17-1) won the belt in the division effectively created for her in July when she defeated Tonya Evinger by third-round knockout.
Previous champion Germaine de Randamie was stripped of the featherweight belt she won in February by defeating Holm in a disputed decision.
In that fight, De Randamie twice struck Holm (11-3) with punches after the bell but avoided a point deduction.
De Randamie then balked at fighting Justino, citing the Brazilian’s failure of a drug test.
Holm returned in June to knock out previous bantamweight title challenger Bethe Correia.
Holm, a former pro boxer from Albuquerque, knocked out Ronda Rousey in Australia two years ago this week.
Holm’s ability to prevail in most slugfests provides a compelling angle to her showdown against Justino, a devastating striker.