Aggrieved Holm cries foul as new champion is crowned

Germaine de Randamie (left) throwing punches against Holly Holm, whom she defeated to become the first UFC women's featherweight champion.
Germaine de Randamie (left) throwing punches against Holly Holm, whom she defeated to become the first UFC women's featherweight champion.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW YORK • Holly Holm wants a rematch after her controversial loss to Germaine de Randamie at UFC 208 on Saturday.

De Randamie became the first UFC women's featherweight champion following her unanimous-decision victory at Brooklyn's Barclays Centre, with all three judges scoring 48-47 in her favour.

The Dutch kickboxing specialist hit Holm with huge punches well after the horn sounded to end rounds two and three, reported mmafighting.com.

"She hit hard shots," Holm (10-3) said at the post-fight press conference. "She hit hard shots after the bell, those are the hardest shots I felt the whole entire fight.

"A lot of times, the first one they give a warning, that's kind of normal.

"I wouldn't expect them to take a point after the first one, even though it was intentional. The second time, at that point you think they'd do something."

De Randamie (7-3) insisted that the shots after the bell were unintentional.

"It was in the heat of the moment," said the 32-year-old.

"I apologised. Even the referee told me that, the first time, the shot was on the bell. It wasn't meant for me to hit her after the bell. It was in the heat of the moment. I apologise - I'm not like that."

Holm, the former UFC women's bantamweight champion, reckons she won the last three rounds and wants another crack at de Randamie. She has now lost three straight fights since her famous knockout of Ronda Rousey to win the bantamweight title in Nov 2015.

"I think it merits a rematch," said the 35-year-old American. "When you have more than half the people saying the fight should go the other way, that warrants a rematch, so, that would be awesome."

De Randamie, however, is expected to face Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino (17-1), who was Octagon-side.

In December, Justino, who was slated to fight at UFC 208, failed an out-of-competition drug test for a diuretic. She has since applied for a retroactive therapeutic-use exemption (TUE) and is waiting for her case to be cleared.

UFC president Dana White recently told ESPN.com that Justino's situation was looking "really good" and she could be cleared to fight this year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2017, with the headline 'Aggrieved Holm cries foul as new champion is crowned'. Print Edition | Subscribe