MMAmania.com resident fighter analyst — and aspiring professional fighter — Andrew Richardson breaks down the mixed martial arts (MMA) game of UFC 208’s Germaine de Randamie, who will look to steal the strap this Saturday (Feb. 11, 2017) inside Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Muay Thai and kickboxing specialist, Germaine de Randamie, will square off with former boxing champion, Holly Holm, in pursuit of the promotion’s first-ever women’s Featherweight strap this Saturday (Feb. 11, 2017) at UFC 208 inside Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
De Randamie’s route to the title has certainly been an odd one. Prior to her mixed martial arts (MMA) career, de Randamie decimated the Dutch Muay Thai scene, winning multiple titles at multiples weight classes to build up an undefeated record of 37-0. Despite her success in kickboxing, de Randamie suffered some growing pains inside the Octagon. She split her first four bouts, but “Iron Lady” has come a long way since. She’s won three of her four UFC fights, with that sole loss coming to the current Bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes. Now, de Randamie will face off with a fellow striker and look to lay claim to the crown.
Let’s take a closer look at her skill set:
As one would expect of such a decorated kickboxer, de Randamie is a sharp striker who possesses some solid power. Looking at her stance and watching her move for a few brief moments is quite telling, as de Randamie’s Muay Thai experience is very obvious when she’s on her feet in MMA.
De Randamie is built like a Muay Thai fighter. Tall and long, de Randamie makes the most of her length on the inside and outside. From inside the clinch, de Randamie is a brutal fighter who rips knees into her opponent’s mid-section relentlessly. In this week’s second technique highlight, I examined de Randami’s offensive clinch skills and a few of the small details that make her so effective.
When de Randamie strikes from the outside, it’s still very classic Muay Thai. Early on, she tends to rely heavily on low kicks. Against an opponent of the same stance, she’ll foot replace into sneaky inside low kicks commonly. If she’s looking to commit to a heavier blow, de Randamie will hide a hard outside low kick behind a left hook or jab.
As de Randamie settles into the fight, her variety of kicks will increase. When thrown in combination, her high kicks are unexpected and powerful. On occasion, de Randamie will suddenly snap into a switch kick to the body or head, Donald Cerrone-style.
De Randamie’s front kicks are also worth mentioning. Usually thrown with her back leg, de Randamie’s front kick is a valuable tool is helping her maintain the distance.
In many cases, Muay Thai fighters tend to be stronger at kicking/clinching range than in the pocket. That holds true for de Randamie, but she’s still one of the tighter boxers in her division, it’s just that she relies heavily on fundamentals.
When de Randamie isn’t punching simply to set up her kicks, she relies quite a bit on straight punches. Utilizing in-and-out movement, de Randamie does a nice job of nailing her opponent with a quick one-two combination. Additionally, de Randamie pulls punches very well, making her opponent miss and leaving her very vulnerable to counter strikes.
The best display of de Randamie’s boxing inside the Octagon came opposite Larissa Pancheko. Against a slower and more amateur striker, de Randamie quickly found her range and realized that Pancheko was not moving her head. Before long, de Randamie was timing her opponent with brutal overhands and uppercuts, landing her right hand nearly at will.
Pancheko hung in there, but she was battered to a stoppage (GIF).
Lastly, de Randamie is a very defensively sound fighter who rarely leaves herself in position to be hit. Each and every time her opponent comes at her with punches and de Randamie wishes to move without countering, she’ll take a couple steps back before quickly circling away from her foe’s power. She’s very disciplined, and de Randamie rarely gets hit cleanly because of it.
De Randemie has yet to hit a takedown inside the Octagon or show any real interest in doing so. When she takes top position, de Randamie has either reversed a poor shot or dropped her foe.
Defensively, de Randamie has a come a long way, in large part thanks to her work at the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA), a gym full of expert wrestlers. Her improvements there have shown through when her opponent is able to get in on the hips and force de Randamie into the fence, as “The Iron Lady” now defends herself properly from that position. Using overhooks, a wide base, and good head position, de Randamie makes herself a difficult woman to drag to the mat.
Additionally, de Randamie’s style of striking makes setting up the takedown difficult. On the outside, she’s very skilled at maintaining the distance and reacts quickly to any poorly set up shot. Most of the time, she is able to simply stiff arm her opponent and pivot, completely shutting down the takedown before it really starts.
The alternative to shooting is clinch takedowns, which plays into de Randamie’s hands as well. If her opponent drives forward looking for trips, de Randamie is usually able to maintain her balance and then drive knees into the mid-section of her stumbling foe.
The main exception to de Randamie’s excellent takedown defense is her bad habit of loading up on a low kick and making it obvious. That provides an easy avenue into her hips for her opponent, which is precisely what de Randamie should be avoiding.
Similar to her wrestling, de Randamie has yet to attempt a submission inside UFC. She’s never been submitted, either, leaving a limited amount of information available to her grappling game.
Earlier in her UFC career, de Randamie did run into some trouble on the mat. Julie Kedzie was able to score several takedowns and then hang on from guard, while de Randamie did little to sweep or stand. Worse, Amanda Nunes was able to transition from a takedown directly into mount, where de Randamie was unable to defend herself.
The bottom game may not be de Randamie’s best aspect, but she does scramble along the fence well. When brought to a knee or her butt, de Randamie will quickly look to place her back on the fence and begin to inch her way up.
De Randamie may not have earned this title shot, but her kickboxing experience should mean that she’s more than prepared for it. Additionally, there’s no better opponent for de Randamie than a fellow striker like Holm. Instead of having to face Cris “Cyborg” — essentially a bigger and more powerful version of Amanda Nunes — she can square off with Holm as the longer and more powerful striking champion. In short, it’s likely now-or-never for the Dutch athlete.
Andrew Richardson, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt, is an undefeated amateur fighter who trains at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, California. In addition to learning alongside world-class talent, Andrew has scouted opponents and developed winning strategies for several of the sport’s most elite fighters.
Source:: mma mania