The Ultimate Fighting Championship has its first women’s featherweight titleholder.
Germaine de Randamie outstruck Holly Holm across five rounds to earn a unanimous decision and the inaugural 145-pound championship in the UFC 208 headliner on Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. All three judges scored it 48-47 for de Randamie (7-3, 4-1 UFC), who has pieced together a three-fight winning streak since her ill-fated encounter with Amanda Nunes in November 2013.
It was not without controversy. De Randamie landed the more damaging blows, some of them after the bell. She dazed Holm with a right hand after the second round and connected with another illegal shot after the third. Referee Todd Anderson elected only to warn the Dutch muay Thai stylist.
Holm (10-3, 3-3 UFC) had her moments. She pursued a relentless clinch against de Randamie, often trapping her against the fence in tiring grappling exchanges. She also wrapped a kick around de Randamie’s head late in Round 3 and caught her coming in with a straight left hand in the fifth, briefly dropping her to a knee. Holm’s efforts went for naught, however, as the former women’s bantamweight titleholder failed to join Randy Couture, B.J. Penn and Conor McGregor as the only two-division champions in UFC history (online betting).
Related » UFC 208 Round-by-Round Scoring
Silva Decision Upends Brunson
Former middleweight champion Anderson Silva registered his first win since October 2012, as he captured a unanimous decision from Derek Brunson in the co-main event. Silva (34-8, 17-4 UFC) swept the scorecards with 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 nods from the cageside judges.
Brunson (16-5, 7-3 UFC) was the victim of inactivity. The Jackson-Wink MMA rep lit up Silva with uppercuts in the clinch and executed takedowns in the second and third rounds, but he failed to consolidate them with damage or meaningful top control. In the spaces in between, he did little to strengthen his foothold in the match. Silva countered effectively, worked behind a stinging jab and largely neutralized the North Carolina native’s attempts to push the fight to the ground.
The 33-year-old Brunson has followed a five-fight winning streak with consecutive defeats.
‘Jacare’ Kimura Submits Boetsch
Two-time Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships gold medalist Ronaldo Souza submitted Tim Boetsch with a first-round kimura in their brief middleweight feature. Souza (24-4, 7-1 UFC) brought it to a close 3:41 into Round 1, once again stating his case to be the No. 1 contender at 185 pounds.
Boetsch (20-11, 11-10 UFC) weathered the Brazilian’s initial advances, but he was living on borrowed time. “Jacare” caught an ill-advised leg kick midway through the first round, swooped in for a takedown and got down to business. He shifted from side control to full mount, isolated Boetsch’s arm and torqued it behind his back, prompting the tapout.
Souza has rattled off 10 wins across his past 11 outings.
Teixeira Slows Cannonier Rise
Repeated takedowns, ground-and-pound and superior topside grappling spurred former Shooto Americas champion Glover Teixeira to a unanimous decision against Jared Cannonier in a three-round light heavyweight showcase. All three cageside judges scored it 30-26 for Teixeira (26-5, 9-3 UFC).
Not quite ready for primetime, Cannonier (9-2, 2-2 UFC) could not stay upright. Teixeira delivered takedowns in all three rounds, fed the Alaska-based Dallas native steady strikes from the top and floated between half guard and full mount. The 37-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt withstood a first-round uppercut and a questionable referee restart from half guard to rebound from his 13-second knockout loss to Anthony Johnson in August.
Teixeira has won four of his last five bouts.
Poirier Weathers Leg Assault, Tops Miller
American Top Team’s Dustin Poirier won for the fifth time in six appearances, as he notched a majority decision over Jim Miller in a featured confrontation at 155 pounds. Judges Chris Lee and Derek Cleary struck 30-27 and 29-28 scorecards for Poirier, while Eric Colon ruled it a 28-28 draw.
The two lightweights gave the buying public its money’s worth. Miller (28-9, 17-8 UFC) zeroed in on the Louisiana native’s lower leg with damaging kicks throughout the 15-minute encounter. Poirier (21-5, 13-4 UFC) responded by closing the distance, unleashing violent punching combinations and utilizing takedowns. He assumed top position and applied his ground-and-pound in the second and third rounds, taking the pressure and focus off his compromised lower extremity. By fight’s end, however, Poirier needed assistance to stand and visible swelling had taken hold on his right shin -- evidence of the effective work Miller had put in.
The loss snapped Miller’s three-fight winning streak.