A 145-pound women’s matchup between talented strikers Julia “The Jewel” Budd and Germaine “The Iron Lady” de Randamie has been added to the Strikeforce Challengers 16 card on June 24th in Kent, Washington. Budd will look to avenge her May 2008 loss to de Randamie in Muay Thai.
De Randamie is coming off of a first-round knockout win in her promotional debut at Strikeforce: “Diaz vs Cyborg” in January and has not lost since 2008. Budd debuted with an impressive stoppage of Shana Olsen, but she was quickly defeated by Amanda Nunes at Strikeforce Challengers 13.
Budd (1-1-0 MMA; 7-1-0 Muay Thai) made an instant impact on October 22nd when she made her Strikeforce and MMA debut and dispatched of Olsen with second-round punches. The big victory led to immediate talk of Budd challenging Strikeforce Women’s Middleweight Champion Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos, but Budd was instead matched up against Nunes in January. Fourteen seconds into the bout, Nunes had won by knockout and Budd was no longer a frontrunner for a shot at Santos’s title.
De Randamie (2-1-0 MMA; 49-0-0 Muay Thai) is widely regarded as the best female kickboxer in the world, but she learned quickly in MMA that she would need more than just her elite striking skills. On December 19, 2008, she challenged top 135-pound contender Vanessa Porto and was submitted with an armbar in the first round. After two years away, de Randamie returned to MMA last September and won a three-round decision, then knocked out Stephanie Webber in her January Strikeforce debut.
With challengers few and far between for Santos’s Strikeforce championship, the bout between Budd and de Randamie could be a pivotal one in shaping the future of the division. De Randamie won the pair’s first meeting in Muay Thai by knockout, and an equally impressive win in June could put her in line for a shot at her first MMA title.
Strikeforce Challengers 16 takes place on June 24th at the ShoWare Center in Kent, Washington.