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Germaine de Randamie (8-3) was the inaugural Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s featherweight queen. However, she is currently competing at bantamweight with the Las Vegas-based promotion. For her next appearance, the 35-year-old will face Aspen Ladd in the UFC Fight Night 155 headliner, which takes place at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California, on July 13.
As we approach the clash, here are five moments that have come to define the career of the Dutch pugilist known as “The Iron Lady.”
DISAPPOINTING DEBUT … De Randamie made her mixed martial arts bow versus Vanessa Porto at Revolution Fight Club 2 in December 2008. The bout, which was contested at bantamweight, did not go according to plan for De Randamie as 3:36 into the first round, she fell victim to an armbar. It was apparent that if the recent muay Thai convert was going to transition successfully into MMA, she would need to improve her grappling skills.
THE BIG SHOW … De Randamie, then 1-1, made her Strikeforce debut opposite Stephanie Webber at Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg in January 2011. “The Iron Lady” was able to keep the fight on the feet for the most part. Late in the first frame, she grabbed a hold of a Thai plumb and proceeded to deliver knees to her shorter foe -- one of which landed flush and knocked her rival out cold. The emphatic knockout was the first occasion De Randamie had won an MMA fight with strikes.
NARROW MARGINS … In July 2013, De Randamie stepped into the Octagon for the first time at UFC on Fox 8. Her opponent was the far more experienced Julie Kedzie, who was also making her promotional bow at the time. It was the first appearance at bantamweight in two and a half years for De Randamie, who enjoyed a four-inch height advantage. “The Iron Lady” utilized extensive clinch work throughout three rounds of largely uninspiring action. But her approach proved to be a success as she eked out a split decision win.
FACING A LEGEND … De Randamie had her sophomore outing with her new employer at UFC Fight Night 31 in November 2013. Across the cage from her stood future two-division UFC champion Amanda Nunes. The beginning of the end came when the powerful Brazilian wrested “The Iron Lady” to the mat, where after securing mount position, she laid into De Randamie with a barrage of right elbows. The referee belatedly called a halt to the beatdown at the 3:56 mark of round one.
WINNING THE BELT … In February 2017, De Randamie made the move back to featherweight to face Holly Holm for the promotion’s inaugural women’s featherweight championship at UFC 208. The evenly contested 25-minute affair saw De Randamie stalk her adversary, while Holm used her fleet footwork to good effect. At the conclusion of the five rounds, it was “The Iron Lady” who was awarded the unanimous decision. Her title winning effort was overshadowed, however, by the shots which she landed after the bell in rounds two and three.
The blows in the former appeared to leave the American somewhat dazed. However, no points were deducted for the late strikes. In the aftermath, De Randamie said the illegal strikes were unintentional, and soon after, she voiced her intention to return to bantamweight. Following her refusal to defend her belt against Cristiane Justino, the Utrecht native was stripped of her title.