Germaine De Randamie managed to outstrike Holly Holm on the counter tonight at UFC 208 and stuff repeated takedown attempts to become the UFC’s first ever woman’s featherweight champion, though she also landed some controversial strikes after the bell in the second and third rounds.
The main event featherweight title fight is underway in Brooklyn with a touch of the gloves.
De Randamie takes the center of the Octagon to begin. Body kick for De Randamie. Holm moving on the outside then bursts forward with punches that don’t land.
De Randamie with a leg kick that just grazes her opponent. Holm moves forward into a leg kick of her own.
Another leg kick for Holm. De Randamie stalking her and lands a powerful leg kick of her own. Holm with a flurry of punches.
Big right hand from De Randamie as Holm comes forward again. Oblique kick attempt from Holm. Solid right hand for De Randamie. Now a leg kick.
Holm with a slapping leg kick. Now a side kick. De Randamie lands a big counter left as Holm moves in. De Randamie is timing Holm’s darting attacks.
De Randamie lands two more punches. Holm with a punch then a leg kick. De Randamie on the counter with a right hand.
Oblique kick for Holm. De Randamie presses forward quickly, but Holm backs away.
Holm attempts to clinch up, but De Randamie throws her instead. Holm straight up and continues in the clinch. She gets De Randamie up against the cage and tries for a takedown, but there’s nothing doing. She ends the round in that position though.
Oblique kick to the knee for HOlm to start round two. Leg kick for the former 135lb champ. Leg kick for De Randamie as Holm lands a punch.
Big counter right from De Randamie now. Holm misses with a head kick. She burst forward with strikes and eats a big right hand counter.
One-two lands for Holm. Oblique kick. Side kick for Holm as De Randamie lands a punch in return. Again De Randamie lands a blistering right hook counter.
Soon after she lands it again, though not as hard this time. Holm in again, but this time she reaches for the clinch and pushes De Randamie against the cage.
Holm working hard here hoping for a potential double-leg takedown, but it doesn’t work out and De Randamie spins her around and starts landing some solid knees to the body.
Holm manages to reverse position and lands a couple of strikes of her own. She’s really trying hard for a takedown again, but this isn’t her forte and she’s not able to pull it off.
De Randamie lands a few solid knees as Holm walks her over to the other side of the cage. Holm stays strong in the clinch as the remaining seconds tick down.
De Randamie gets some space and lands a couple of huge shots down the pipe, but one lands hard just after the bell. Holm was rocked badly by that, but gets back to the corner under her own steam.
Holm staying busy to start the third round and hopefully has managed to clear the cobwebs after that controversial end to the previous round.
De Ranadamie lands on the counter again. Side kick to the body for Holm. Back to the oblique kick for her now. De Randamie lands again. Her timing has been very good tonight.
Big knee in close for De Randamie. Holm continuing to dart in and out with short offensive flurries. De Randamie with a body kick.
HOlm misses with a kick, but soon after lands a solid leg kick. She lands another side kick to the leg. Another leg kick, but she’s countered with a punch from De Randamie.
Holm into the clinch against the cage trying for a takedown, but De Randamie stuffs that and lands herself in the clinch with a few shots before they break away.
Another side kick to the leg for Holm. Closing stages of the round and Holm lands a head kick that wobbles De Randamie and almost puts her down. However, De Randamie comes back with a hard flurry of punches, but again she lands hard strikes after the bell! The ref opts not to take a point though. Controversial moment once again.
Holm back to that trademark flurry to start the round. De Randamie with a leg kick. Holm strikes her way into the clinch again.
Holm working hard against the cage again. De Randamie so far has been able to prevent the takedown and that’s continuing here and the ref decides to split them apart.
Solid leg kick for De Randamie. Superman punch attempt from Hom. Push kick for De Randamie. Jab for her too. Oblique kick for HOlm.
Flurry of punches and kick misses for Holm. Couple of leg kicks land. De Randamie with a punch and then a hard leg kick.
Holm back into the clinch against the cage now. She’s really struggled to finish her takedown attempts though. Couple of knees to the leg from Holm.
Final minute of the round. Holm tries again for the takedown, but nope. Solid knees for De Randamie as she starts to reverse the position.
Last few seconds and Holm backs away and stays at range, perhaps cautious that De Randamie might try another late flurry to end the round.
Final round then with all to fight for. Solid body kick for De Randamie. The two exchange leg kicks. High kick attempt off punches from Holm.
Now it’s De Randamie trying a head kick. Punches from Holm just come up short, but she’s keeping busy.
Suddenly Holm lands a big hook and that buckles De Randamie’s legs, but Holm opts to go into the clinch which gives De Randamie time to regain her bearings. There might have been a clash of heads in there too as Holm’s bleeding from a cut to her head.
The referee breaks them and as Holm comes forward De Randamie lands that solid counter right. Holm with a left kick. Another strike for Holm.
Holm opts to go back to the clinch against the cage, but the crowd boos. Holm’s corner are yelling at her to get back to striking, thinking that De Randamie might still be hurt, but she’s either not listening or just doesn’t want to.
Holm spends a minute or so in the position and then De Randamie turns around, lands a knee to the body and moves away.
Holm eats a couple of hard punches from De Randamie as the fight comes to a close and it’ll be interesting to see how the judges score this one.
Close fight then, with De Randamie landing the more meaningful strikes, particularly with repeated counters, but Holm did control the clinch work and was the busier fighter.
The judges verdict is in and the inaugural woman’s featherweight champion is Germaine De Randamie by unanimous decision (48-47 x3).
Given the close nature of the decision Holm may feel aggrieved that her opponent wasn’t deducted a point for striking after the bell in two separate rounds.