Former featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie believes she is in the best mental space of her storied career ahead of her pivotal bantamweight clash with Aspen Ladd in the main event of UFC Sacramento this weekend.
It’s been a rollercoaster ride for the Dutch kickboxer over the last number of years. From winning the featherweight title, to being unceremoniously stripped of the belt by the UFC, “The Iron Lady” believes her wealth of experience could be a factor on Saturday night.
That being said, she is not ruling out her surging undefeated opponent.
“I don’t count her out because when you’re young, you’re hungry and you’re in a different state of mind,” de Randamie told MMA Fighting. “At the same time, I have spent time in some very, very stormy weather. I’ve seen it all, I’ve faced it and I’ve been through it all. If it comes to it, and I have to rely on something, my experience is one thing and the stormy weathers that I have conquered [are another] — it’s good baggage to carry with me into this fight.”
De Randamie feels like a completely different fighter in terms of her mental approach ahead of the crucial contest.
“If I look back on my years of fighting and I think about how I feel now; how I experience things, how I go through fight camp, how I go through cutting weight, how I go through all the negativity that comes with it — it’s very different compared to how I felt before. Mentally, you cannot face me so fast; you can’t throw me off.”
“I always tell people, ‘I’ve stood in the storm, but now I am the storm,’” she added.
De Randamie disclosed that she had an intensive six-week camp in preparation for the bout, but also revealed that she has never watched Ladd compete. Having knocked out men with considerable weight advantages over her in kickboxing bouts over the years, she is adamant that she will seeking the finish from the first bell.
“I don’t need to look at [Ladd’s] fights. I’ve seen her; I’ve seen it and faced it all. I fought a man who had 40-pounds over me and I was able to knock him out in a kickboxing match. In MMA, it just takes a fraction of a second — the gloves are so thin. One thing I will say is, I don’t how hard she has been hit before, but on Saturday I’m going to bring violence. Everything that I do will be with full power; everything that I do will be an attempt to finish the fight.”
Many believe that Saturday’s UFC main event will decide the next challenger to Amanda Nunes’ bantamweight title, but de Randamie underlined that she is not putting all her eggs into that particular basket.
“I’m completely focused on the task at hand,” she said. “I absolutely don’t overlook Aspen Ladd, but I want to give it my all on Saturday and I want to leave it all in there. If that eventually leads to a title shot, then hey, that’s great. I don’t mean this in a bad way, but I’m not going to wait for Amanda Nunes. She has said that she wants to defend her 145-pound belt and I respect that completely. The champ gets to do whatever she wants to do, but I’m not going to sit around and wait. I’m 35-years-of-age and I want to enjoy this to the fullest. I want to fight at least two times before the end of the year.”
The former champion also highlighted that she is on “good terms” with the UFC despite the organization’s highly publicized decision to strip her of the featherweight crown in 2017.
“It takes so much energy out of your life to live with negative thoughts. We’re on good terms. And you can’t say we’re not on good terms if they’ve just given me a main event. I think if we weren’t on good terms I wouldn’t be getting a main event. I don’t blame them for anything, they’re a business and they need to make money. I respect that.”