By Sam Bush
Holly Holm fans were not happy!
And fans at Brooklyn’s Barclay Center let referee Todd Anderson know it.
Following Rounds 2 and 3 of last night’s UFC 208, Germaine de Randamie landed combinations following the horn to signal the end of the frame. The first such time, Holly Holm was buckled. Anderson finally issued an official warning after the second infraction, but no foul was called.
A point deduction would have been the difference, as de Randamie eked by Holm by the same score on all three judges’ scorecards — 48-47 — to become the first-ever UFC 145-pound champion. Holm, who rose to prominence with a second-round knockout of Ronda Rousey, has now dropped three consecutive bouts since the November 2015 upset victory.
“It was an accident to hit her after the bell, it was never intentional,” de Randamie (7-3) said. “It was just the heat of the moment. I am not that kind of fighter. Holly is a tremendous champion and I truly respect her but I am a brawler and I love to fight.
“I want to fight everybody and I will fight anybody so we will see who is next.”
De Randamie, 33, said she’s willing to defend the newly minted title against Cristiane”Cyborg” Justino, the much-avoided fighter who was octagoside Saturday. First, though, De Randamie says, will be surgery to repair torn ligaments in her hand suffered against Larissa Pacheco in March 2015.
“The Preacher’s Daughter” had her best moment in Round 3 when a left kick to the head dropped de Randamie to a knee. But then came the second blow after the horn.
By the final round, the 35-year-old’s left eye was bloodied and battered, a result of the effective counterpunching blows from de Randamie.
It was a close fight, and Holm was punching to the final horn, but once again, she was on the losing end. Following losses to Miesha Tate, Valentina Shevchenko and now de Randamie, it’s unclear where the former boxing champion goes.
De Randamie’s path is more clear: a title defense against “Cyborg” in a fight everyone will be waiting for.