SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Germaine de Randamie’s had a little time to think about it, and she still feels the same way about Herb Dean’s stoppage of her UFC on ESPN+ 13 main event against Aspen Ladd as she did in the cage: The former UFC women’s featherweight champion believes it was a good call.
Many on social media questioned whether Dean should have waved off the bantamweight bout at Golden1 Center after just 16 seconds, but “The Iron Lady” said during the post-fight news conference that the referee made the correct call.
“I believe it was a good stoppage,” de Randamie told reporters, including MMA Junkie. “It was a clean shot. She dropped, she turned 360 degrees the other side when I hit her, so, it was a clean shot.”
De Randamie (9-3 MMA, 6-1 UFC) said that she had a feeling Ladd (8-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC), who went through what appeared to be a horrific weight cut on Friday, wasn’t going to be able to handle her power. But the Netherlands native admits she wasn’t expecting to more or less finish the job with the first punch.
“I honestly believed, and my team also believed, that Aspen is young, very hungry, she was very dangerous, but we knew she never felt the power that I was going to bring to her,” de Randamie said. “It’s a dream scenario when you hit someone that clean with the first punch.”
And regardless whether the stoppage was fast, de Randamie believes she was a mere matter of seconds from finishing the fight regardless.
“The thing is, the referee stops the fight, you know?” de Randamie said. “And I understand that the audience might not agree, but it was a clean, clean shot. I landed another one, just because she was on her knees, and Herb was on his way to stop it, and I landed another one. If he didn’t step in, the fight was going to be over anyway because I was going to jump on top of her and finish the fight.”
The next natural question is what is next from here for de Randamie. She’s won five fights in a row, and her last loss was to current women’s featherweight and bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes, who doesn’t have many other obvious contenders at 135 pounds at the moment.
Much rides on the upcoming bout between Cris Cyborg and Felicia Spencer at UFC 241 later this month. A Cyborg win would lead to a potentially lucrative rematch with Nunes, who defeated her for the featherweight crown, should Cyborg re-sign with the UFC.
So the veteran de Randamie is content to continue on, whether or not a crack at Nunes’ bantamweight belt is in the cards.
“I don’t know and I don’t care,” de Randamie said. “If the champ wants to defend her 145 belt, I completely understand and respect that, you know? And I’m not going to wait. As soon as I feel ready to go again, I’m ready.
“I’m going to go on a nice vacation and then I’m ready to go. I heard the UFC is going to New Zealand. I love traveling, my team loves traveling. If Amanda is going to fight and defend her 145 belt first, I say let’s go to New Zealand and fight before that. I’m not going to sit and wait for a title fight.”