Back in February, Dutch striking specialist Germaine de Randamie defeated Holly Holm by decision to become the first-ever UFC women’s featherweight champion. Though hers was a somewhat controversial win, it was a definite feel-good moment for the Dutchwoman and her fans. Unfortunately, her reign took a rather unfortunate turn several months later, when she refused to defend her title against top contender Cris “Cyborg” Justino, citing Cyborg’s previous failed drug test as a reason. Given that Cyborg has proven herself to be a clean fighter and a deserving title challenger, De Randamie was stripped of the title by the UFC. Cyborg will now battle Tonya Evinger for the vacant throne at UFC 214 this Saturday.
On the latest edition of The MMA Hour, the former champion De Randamie recounted the process that led to the UFC stripping her of the title.
“First we had the whole rollercoaster with the Holly [Holm] thing, with her appealing the decision,” she explained. “Then the UFC contacted me to see if I was interested in fighting on July 29 against Cyborg. But let me go back a little bit before that. Before I signed the bout agreement with Holly, I discussed with the UFC – this was all before I signed the bout agreement for that fight – I told the UFC, I’m willing to take the [Holm] fight, but just know, I want to drop back to 135 [pounds]. I mean the current champion, she’s a great champion, Amanda Nunes, I have a loss against her, and I hope one day to avenge my loss against her. The UFC was very willing. They said they had absolutely no problem with me dropping back down after the fight with Holly. So I fought Holly, and the UFC contacted me and talked to me about fighting Cris Cyborg at 145, July 29. My team and I, we have discussed this, and there was a point that she got caught with the diuretic, then she got permission for it. And you know, we discussed this all together, and the plan was to go back to 135, all before everything happened ever. We discussed that she’d been caught with the diuretic, and diuretics are also being used sometimes as blockers for other stuff in your system. So we decided not to take the fight. Not only because of the steroid thing, and me being against people that have used substances. It was also [because] I was not going to be ready on July 29. I have a full-time job. Fighting for me right now is a hobby. I don’t live a fighters life. I work sometimes 50, 60 hours a week.”
“If you’re a human being and you make a decision, that decision has consequences. And the consequences for me were that the UFC stripped me of the belt, and I found out just like everybody else.”
“I didn’t know they were going to strip me of the belt that day, I didn’t know what was going to happen at that point. There was a point when I realized that was a possibility, but like I said, I stand by what I believe in.”
Germaine de Randamie will return to action on September 2, when she fights Marion Reneau in Rotterdam. The fight will occur at bantamweight.
Do you think it was right of the UFC to strip Germaine de Randamie of the women’s featherweight belt?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/24/2017.