The Ultimate Fighting Championship will crown their first female 145-pound champion at UFC 208 on Saturday. Either Germaine de Randamie or Holly Holm will make history as the inaugural UFC women’s featherweight champion.
“I feel amazing. I feel absolutely amazing. I’m in great shape. I’m in great spirit. I’m in even better spirit. And, for me it’s really an honor to fight such a great champion as Holly Holm and to write history February 11. So February 11 can’t come fast enough for me,” de Randamie said during a recent UFC 208 media conference call.
De Randamie and Holm are moving up from the bantamweight division for the historic opportunity. Many consider Cris “Cyborg” Justino as the top women’s 145-pound fighter in the world, but de Randamie believes whomever wins on Saturday will be the top fighter in the division.
“I respect everybody’s opinion. And absolutely, Cris got the offer to fight Holly. Cris got the offer to fight me. And she wasn’t able. And I don’t know the exact reason she wasn’t able to. Then Holly and I got the offer to fight each other and we both said yes,” she said.
Cyborg was flagged for a potential anti-doping violation stemming from an out-of-competition test on Dec. 5. She had previously turned down bout agreements to face Holm and de Randamie. She later explained that she wanted the fight date pushed back to March and didn’t turn down the match-ups. Regardless, there will be a UFC women’s featherweight champion crowned on Saturday and it will not be Cyborg.
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“If you’re a champion, you fight against everybody. Holly and I are going to fight and one of us will decide who’s the next number one. And if one of us has to defend the title against Cris Cyborg, it will be Cris Cyborg who we defend the title against. We’re going to fight and no matter what people think one of us will be the 145 champion. If you look at Holly’s credentials and you look at my credentials, I think we both accomplished a lot for the sport. So, I think we absolutely belong in the top,” said the Dutch kickboxer.
De Randamie has held world titles in kickboxing and Muay Thai. Holm has held multiple world titles in boxing and is the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion. On paper, the UFC 208 main event could be two of the most accomplished strikers ever to face off inside the Octagon.
“I’m fighting a top competitor in Holly. She’s a decorated fighter. And there’s no doubt in my mind that I have to be on top of my top game. I have to perform. February 11, I have to perform. I cannot make a mistake. I understand that a lot of people do not know a lot about my kickboxing, probably because I’m also not from the United States. I live in Europe. And the kickboxing scene in the United States is not as big as it is in Europe. So, it’s okay. It’s always nice to be the underdog and be the unknown fighter. So, I kind of like my position right now, to be honest,” she said.
A win over Holm and capturing the UFC women’s 145-pound title would cap off de Randamie’s career in combat sports.
“I think if I win, it will solidify my career. I’ve had an amazing career so far already. And I have accomplished things that I could have in my wildest dreams I couldn’t believe that I did all these things. And yes, winning a UFC belt, I think that would solidify it,” she said.
“In the past, a lot of people have doubted me and told me I couldn’t do it. And I’m a believer — you can do anything you want in life as long as you put your heart and soul to it. And yes, I want it. I want to win and I want to solidify my career. It would be amazing.”
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