Earlier today Dana White said that from what he understands, Cris Cyborg might beat her USADA violation. If that’s the case, the ladies fighting for the inaugural women’s featherweight belt tonight – Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie – are simply warm bodies vying for the chance to get slaughtered by the Brazilian at a later date. So. Holm and De Randamie. Two strong kickboxers. This should be a good one. And then the winner will be lead to the execution chamber so Cyborg can ascend to her rightful place on the throne.
As an ardent Muay Thai practitioner, GDR is all conservative technique and stationary readiness while Holm is constant movement and explosions of aggression. That translates into a lot of Holm landing kicks to the legs and GDR nailing her with single elbows and right hands that threaten to take the American’s head off. In the final minute Holm tries hard for a takedown that never comes – clearly, she’s trying to sway the judges by getting her foe down.
Holm’s explosions of forward movement and striking continue to result in one single counterpunch from De Randamie clocking her square in the face, prompting Holm to tie up after two minutes. Unfortunately for Holm, the fact that she was never a wrestler means takedowns are tough for her to get, and GDR is able to deliver some punishing knees. To make matters worse, the horn sounds and GDR cracks her with a very late right hand that makes Holm’s knees buckle.
The former bantamweight champ seems somewhat recovered at the beginning of the third, and her tactics change slightly, her forward rushes now just feints meant to force GDR to react. De Randamie doesn’t really open herself up though, and her right hand is like a guided missile that can’t miss. In the final five seconds Holm lands a high-kick that stumbles her, and yet again GDR unloads with punches after the bell. De Randamie is only warned for her transgression.
The wrestling of Holm is ratcheted up a bit in the fourth, as the American tries fruitlessly to get De Randamie down. She can’t, although exhaustion on the part of De Randamie really highlights Holm’s constant high output.
Holm finally tags GDR hard in the fifth, with a left hand making the Muay Thai fighter bloody. But Holm continues to push her against the fence and jockey for a takedown she’s not good enough to get, and so the action falls to a snail’s pace and the boos from the audience come unbidden. They duke it out in the final ten seconds, and then it’s up to the judges.
Results: Germaine de Randamie def. Holly Holm via Unanimous Decision