Germaine de Randamie is the first UFC women’s featherweight champion.
But her unanimous decision victory over Holly Holm on Saturday night at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center was marred by illegal blows and poor officiating.
De Randamie clocked Holm with huge punches well after the horn sounded on both the second and third rounds at UFC 208. Referee Todd Anderson, inexperienced in major main events, twice got in late to break up the action, and failed to dock a point for either infraction.
That made a big different in a tight fight, as all three judges scored the bout 48-47 in de Randamie’s favor.
“It was in the heat of the moment,” DeRandamie (7-3) said. “I apologized, I’m not like that.”
The bout started off conventionally enough, as de Randamie got off to a solid start in the opening round. She was quicker off the draw as she avoided Holm like a matador and landed solid counters at every turn.
De Randamie again had control in the second, but well after the horn, with Anderson out of position, she blasted Holm with a right hand that wobbled her.
In the third, Holm regained her senses and started to turn the fight around, including landing a big head kick in the closing seconds. But de Randamie again drilled Holm after the horn.
Holm (10-3), the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion, dug down and turned the fight in her favor over the final two rounds of the grueling affair, but it wasn’t enough, as she lost for the third time in her past four fights.
DeRandamie, who has won five of her past six, is expected to face the fighter most consider the best in the world, Cris “Cyborg” Justino once Justino’s USADA-related case is cleared up. De Randamie suggested she’s going to take time off to repair ligament damage to her thumb before returning to action.
Holm has now dropped three consecutive fights since her famous knockout of Ronda Rousey to win the bantamweight title in Nov. 2015.