Decorated Muay Thai striker Germaine “The Iron Lady” de Randamie made history with a hard-fought victory tonight at UFC 208 in Brooklyn, New York. De Randamie defeated Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm in the main event to become the inaugural UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion.
Tonight’s competitive title tilt was contested entirely on the feet, and de Randamie’s strong start in the early rounds was marred only by two late punches after the bell. Holm was more aggressive in the final ten minutes, but de Randamie stuffed numerous takedowns and edged out the win.
De Randamie (7-3-0) countered early kicks from Holm (10-3-0) with straight right hands and she followed with short left hooks that halted Holm’s momentum. Holm tried in vain to take the fight to the mat, but de Randamie showcased much-improved takedown defence. She stayed on her feet against the cage each time and landed some solid knees to Holm’s body.
It was more of the same in rounds two and three, and Holm’s takedown attempts were repeatedly thwarted. De Randamie continued to counter Holm’s kicks with right hands and she mixed in knees in the clinch battles. Controversy arose at the end of the second round when de Randamie landed a big right hand after the bell, but she was not punished. Late in the close third round, Holm staggered de Randamie with a head kick and de Randamie fired back with a lengthy combination that also extended past the bell. She was warned for the second foul, but no points were deducted.
Round four was largely contested in the clinch, with neither woman able to secure a takedown or land any damaging strikes. De Randamie eventually broke free and she scored with a right hook to the temple, but Holm tied her up in another clinch before time expired. Holm hurt de Randamie with a counter left hook in the final round, but de Randamie clinched with her against the fence and bought enough time to recover. She stuffed Holm’s takedowns and the restless crowd began to voice its displeasure with the uneventful clinch battles. De Randamie landed a nice one-two late in the fight.
The judges were united and all three scored the bout 48-47 for de Randamie, who has now won three straight bouts inside the Octagon since falling to current UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda “Lioness” Nunes at UFC Fight Night 31. She now reigns supreme as the first UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion. Holm, meanwhile, has dropped three straight fights after beginning her MMA career with ten consecutive victories.
Winner: Germaine de Randamie by Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) after five rounds. She improves to 7-3-0 and becomes the UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion.
(Photo Credit: UFC)