For the better part of a week, Germaine de Randamie celebrated her victory over Holly Holm last Saturday at UFC 208, a unanimous decision in which she was crowned the first UFC women’s featherweight champion.
But there’s been a cloud hanging over her victory which simply won’t dissipate. Punches thrown and landed by de Randamie after the horn sounded to end both the second and third rounds of the fight at the Barclays Center, before referee Todd Anderson stepped in, have led to persistent allegations that de Randamie is a dirty fighter.
And the new champ admits the words have stung.
“I never threw any dirty shots,” de Randamie said on a Thursday conference call. “I never threw any cheap shots around the referee. As soon as he stepped in and put his arm in, I stopped. Of course, I try to hear the bell and stop, but sometimes when you’re in the heat of the moment you’re in the fight. You get hit, you hit somebody.”
At the post-fight press conference in Brooklyn, Holm said she believed de Randamie’s late blows were intentional. GDR says this is the accusation which upsets her most.
“It was never intentional,” de Randamie said. “That’s what upsets me so much. People try to say I’m a dirty fighter. I’m not a dirty fighter. It really hurts me when people say that. I never had any bad intentions, I truly respect Holly. I respect the UFC. I respect Holly’s camp.”
Holm has filed an official complain with the New York State Athletic Commission, hoping to get the result overturned. For her part, de Randamie believes she won the bout fair and square, and says Holm should take de Randamie up on her offer for a rematch.
“If Holly believes the point deductions are the reason she lost the fight, and she’s looking to make it a no-contest or a draw, she should simply put out the offer for a rematch I put out,” de Randamie said. “If she feels that way there’s nothing I can say much about. I respect everyone’s opinion, I truly do. I believe I was the fair winner, I believe I had the better shots, I believe I dominated the standup. I understand Holly is sad she lost the fight. I’m sad certain occasions happened during the fight that was not in my plan and not intentional. ... I believe justice will be served and the athletic commission will make the right decision.”