Germaine De Randamie was crowned the inaugural woman’s featherweight champion at UFC 208 after a unanimous decision win over Holly Holm, but due to a couple of controversial moments in the fight ‘The Iron Lady’ is now calling for an immediate rematch.
De Randamie landed punches after the bell in the second round that appeared to rock Holm, and then landed in similar fashion at the end of the third round too, but the referee opted not to deduct a point – a decision that’s been widely criticized since.
That’s prompted the new champion to release a statement making it clear that the illegal strikes were not intentional, and that she has no problem running the fight back.
“Woke up yesterday to a lot of support and a lot of controversy,” De Randamie wrote. “I should be on the highest of highs right now but after my long flight home to Holland, I couldn’t stop thinking about the events that took place last night and some of the critics trying to take away what should be one of the greatest moments of my career. I want to say that it was a heated battle with lots of emotion but I am not a dirty fighter. I have always trained to fight to the end or until the referee steps in. Never did I punch around or over the referee to deliver a cheap shot on Holly.
“I have nothing but respect for Holly and the UFC. And because of that I want to say right now that I think I owe it to Holly and the fans to do this fight again to make sure that the winner of this historic belt is crystal clear. Holly, let’s do this again.”
Holm had previously stated at the post-fight press conference that she believed she’d done enough to win the fight anyway, and together with what she believed to be intentional punches thrown after the bell it left her believing that a rematch was warranted.
UFC officials might not be quite so enthusiastic about the idea, however, given that nobody had shown much of an appetite for their first meeting, and the UFC 208 headliner proved to be one of the most disappointing title fights in recent memory.
De Randamie had indicated post-fight that she requires hand surgery before her next fight, and the UFC had Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino at Octagon-side on Saturday night, suggesting that they want her to fight the new champion next.
That all hinges on whether ‘Cyborg’ is successfully able to get past a recent drug-test issue, which is something UFC president Dana White appeared to be optimistic about in conversations with the media late last week.