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Germaine de Randamie relives 16-second finish of Aspen Ladd: ‘Why take more damage?’

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Sacramento-de Randamie vs Ladd
Germaine de Randamie in action against Aspen Ladd at UFC Sacramento on July 13, 2019
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Germaine de Randamie is confident that she was about to finish Aspen Ladd regardless of whether Herb Dean stopped their UFC Sacramento main event on the 16-second mark last Saturday.

Ladd dropped to the canvas after eating a forceful right hand from the former featherweight champion. De Randamie dived on top of Ladd, but after throwing a single punch, Dean waved the fight off. As Dean stopped the fight, it appeared as though Ladd was still conscious and was attempting to execute a sickle sweep on de Randamie as she looked to celebrate the win.

Although Dean has come under a lot of fire for his decision the stop the fight, there is no doubting the power that de Randamie packed into the right hand that dropped the previously undefeated prospect. Speaking a few days out from the contest, “The Iron Lady” described the punch as “perfect.”

“I stepped a little bit towards the outside on her right side so I could slip her punch and that meant that my hand would land flush on the chin,” de Randamie told MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast.

“In dreams and in practice you visualize this. When you visualize your fight, you visualize throwing that hand. It’s barely ever this perfect when it lands. It landed and I was like, ‘She’s down!’ If you look back at it I hesitated for a minute and then I realized that I better jump on it.”

De Randamie also relived the stoppage from her point of view.

“At that point, you become a hunter and you just want to finish. I’ve said it before, I respect Aspen so much, but at that point I became the hunter. If Herb didn’t jump in, I was going to jump on top of her and try to finish the fight anyway. In my opinion she was rocked and she was looking like [she was thinking], ‘What just happened?’ I was going to attack again, so I hit her once and then Herb pushed me to the side. I was planning on jumping on that moment and finishing the fight,” she said.

“One thing id like to say is: Aspen is very young, she is a warrior and she still has a big future ahead of her, but why take more damage than necessary? If you look at our training camps we take damage to the head every day basically. [It could be in] sparring or grappling; it can be wresting. If somebody shoots and the takedown is stuffed, you can hit your head off a hip. You take a lot of damage to the head, why take more damage? It’s not necessary sometimes.”

Based on her belief that she was about to finish the fight, the Dutch knockout artist backed Dean’s controversial stoppage.

“In my personal opinion, it was a good stoppage. I saw that Herb was watching her, I saw her react a little bit slow to the punch. I believed I was going to finish the fight there and then. So, like I said, there’s no need to take more damage.”

While she underlined that she understands why she was booed as her hand was raised, de Randamie admitted it was not an enjoyable experience.

“[Getting booed] is never fun. You go in there to entertain the fans. I understand though, Aspen is from close to Sacramento. The crowd was on her side and it’s never fun to see your fighter getting knocked out or TKO’d in 16 seconds, it’s never fun. Personally, I understand. But also, I remember when Anna Elmose came to Rotterdam [to fight me] and when Bruce Buffer announced her name the crowd were still cheering. At the same time, I understand, I truly do. They love Aspen and they have every right to love her. She’s a great athlete and a great sportswoman.”

Check out the latest episode of Eurobash. The Germaine de Randamie interview begins at 12:00.