The UFC 208 main event was won by Germaine de Randamie, but the inaugural women’s featherweight title bout wasn’t without controversy. The Dutch fighter landed punches after the bell on two separate occasions, and according to Holly Holm, not only were they done on purpose, they were the most damaging blows of the fight.
“She hit hard shots after the bell, those are the hardest shots I felt the whole entire fight,” Holm said during the post-fight press conference. “It was after the bell. I heard the bell, I stopped and she threw it. It wasn’t like the last punch of a combination when the bell rang. It was intentional.”
Apart from hampering her performance and ending up being wobbly on her feet after the foul, Holm also thinks it could’ve played a factor in the end decision. Not only did the referee decide not to take a crucial point away after the second infraction, Holm worries that the judges saw them as punches scored rather than fouls landed.
“A lot of times, the first one they give a warning, that’s kind of normal,” Holm said. “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 at that point, they’d do something.
“I mean, some of her best shots of the whole night were after the bell. I don’t know how the judges saw that. If they see that as points for her then what can you do?”
Holm felt she still had a case for winning the last three rounds despite the early fouls, but at the same time, she explained that she could’ve done much better.
It wasn’t only about the fouls, as she cited other factors such as not capitalizing after hurting de Randamie on a couple of occasions, and not committing to the takedowns as few of the things she should’ve done better to clearly win the contest.
Holm then made her case for a rematch, while also stating that she did lose some respect for de Randamie for the “intentional” fouls.
“If it was one shot after the bell, at the end of a combo, then that’s an accident. Sometimes you’re in the flurry of it. But I still think I could’ve won the fight on my own,” she said.
“Next time, I’ll just be ready to throw back.”