Germaine de Randamie’s start to life as a UFC featherweight champion hasn’t exactly gone swimmingly.
The new 145-pound belt holder defeated Holly Holm last Saturday night at UFC 208, but did so in controversial fashion. New York State judges awarded de Randamie the victory with three rounds to Holm’s two, but many observers felt that it was in fact Holm who should have walked away holding gold.
And that’s not even taking into account the belief that de Randamie should have been docked a point after hitting Holm after the bell on two occasions. Holm herself, whose legs buckled after being hit with a vicious right hand following the bell, believes the illegal blows to be a contributing factor in the loss. As such, she has filed an appeal with the New York Commission to reconsider the fight decision.
While she acknowledges Holm’s right to an appeal, de Randamie believes a rematch would serve a better conclusion for all involved.
“I believe if Holly feels those [illegal blows] are the reasons that she lost the fight and she’s looking to make it a no contest or a draw, she should simply accept the offer I put out to rematch her,” de Randamie said on a media call, Thursday. “If she feels that way there’s nothing much I can say about it. Everybody’s entitled to feel however they want to feel and I respect everybody’s opinion, I truly do. I believe I was the fair winner. I had the better shots, I believe I was the better fighter during the fight. I believe I dominated the stand up but I understand that Holly is sad that she lost the fight and I’m sad that certain occasions happened during the fight that was not in my plan and was not intentional.
“Holly’s entitled to feel and do whatever she likes to do and whatever she wants to do and I respect that. I believe that justice will serve and the athletic commission will make the right decision.”
Following the fight on Saturday, de Randamie was asked about potentially defending her belt against Cris Cyborg, a woman widely regarded as the best female featherweight in the world. In response de Randamie announced that she may require surgery on her hand, citing a doctor’s belief she had some form of tendon injury. Regardless of that injury, she believes Holm would be the right contest to make, not a bout against Cyborg.
“I feel like with everything that’s going on even though I might have to step out for a little bit to get my hand fixed, I still believe if she’s up to it, we can do the rematch,” she said. “If you’re the champion, you’ve got to fight everybody. Cris Cyborg, Holly Holm but at this point I really believe with everything going on, I really believe that Holly should get the rematch first.”
That decision and rhetoric has, perhaps unsurprisingly, caused a response from fans suggested that de Randamie may be attempting to avoid a bout with the Brazilian — something she denies.
“I honestly, I really don’t take it personal. Everybody’s entitled to say whatever they want to say. I know I’m not afraid and I know I will fight everybody,” de Randamie said. “Right now, there’s a lot going on, my focus is somewhere else. At the end of the day, it’s been five days ago that I fought for the UFC belt and at this point it’s been so busy, so hectic that I’ve really not had anytime to really enjoy it, even though I’ve got great people here in Holland supporting me.
“Right now, I’m going to enjoy it and like I said, I’m going to see a doctor, I’m going to get my hand checked out and whatever happens after that, happens after that.”