Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)

Germaine de Randamie shocks Holly Holm to become first women’s UFC featherweight champion

Netherlands fighter shocks American in New York scoring a points decision win at UFC 208

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 February, 2017, 2:15pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 February, 2017, 3:53pm

Germaine de Randamie clocked Holly Holm after the bell in one round, then a second, and got nothing more than a warning from the referee.

De Randamie kept those pivotal points on the scorecard, and slapped a UFC championship belt over her shoulder.

The 32-year-old Dutch kickboxer shook off Holm’s clinching and won by unanimous decision – 48-47 on each judge’s card – in the main event at UFC 208 on Saturday night to become the first featherweight champion in the woman’s division.

De Randamie (7-3) dropped to her knees in celebration as the Barclays Centre crowd booed the end of a lacklustre bout. UFC created the new 145-pound division in part as a showcase for Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino.

Justino was the lone fan standing in the front row toward the end of the five-round bout and stuck around to snap selfies with fans. Justino’s UFC fate is in limbo because of a doping violation that knocked her off the New York card.

“I want to fight everybody and I will fight anybody so we will see who is next,” de Randamie said.

A fight may not be on the immediate horizon.

De Randamie, who also fought in Strikeforce, said she needed surgery on one of her hands. UFC said de Randamie was taken to a hospital.

Holm (10-3) has lost three straight bouts since she became the first fighter to defeat Ronda Rousey in December 2015.

De Randamie rocked Holm with repeated hits after the bell in two rounds. She struck Holm with a right a tick after the horn to end the second round that sent the crowd of 15,628 howling. Holm shook de Randamie with a head kick near the end of the third. But de Randamie again thumped Holm just after the bell and was walked to her corner with referee Todd Anderson talking in her ear. But she was never penalised for the late blows.

“The second time, at that point you’d think they’d do something,” Holm said.

De Randamie said the hits weren’t intentional.

“It was in the heat of the moment. I apologized,” she said.

Like Holm, de Randamie moved up in weight for the shot at the title in the first UFC pay-per-view in 2017. She might be the least-known fighter on the card. But she walked out a champ.

“I came to fight and she didn’t want to fight me,” she said.

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Holm may have fought in the main event for the last time in her UFC career. She heard unflattering comparisons all week to former heavyweight champion Buster Douglas, who was a one-hit wonder in the fight game following his KO of Mike Tyson.

Earlier on the card, Anderson Silva gave an effective performance to beat Derek Brunson in the co-main event.

Silva had the Brooklyn crowd clearly on his side, and his familiar dose of swagger and showmanship were on full display at the Barclays Centre in a 29-28, 29-28, 30-27 victory.

Silva crouched in his yellow trunks, the crowd going wild for “The Spider,” all hoping he could recreate the greatness of his prime. He landed a spin kick to the body in the first round that rattled Brunson but otherwise never came close to dominating the middleweight bout.

Silva dropped his long-time entrance song, DMX’s “Ain’t No Sunshine,” for an original tune called “Doom” by his teenage son Kalyl.

“I’m the best ever,” repeated one of the lyrics.

The 41-year-old Silva is certainly on the short list of all-time great MMA fighters.

Additional reporting: Associated Press