The UFC has its first ever women’s featherweight champion, as Germaine de Randamie outlasted Holly Holm in the main event of UFC 208 on Saturday, winning a five-round unanimous decision, 48-47, 48-47, 48-47. It was the first ever match in the division, and there was some controversy.
At the end of the second and third rounds, de Randamie landed hard, hard punches well after the bell was sounded. Both times, the referee warned de Randamie and elected not to take a point away. Those shots were some of the most damaging of the fight.
Aside from that controversy though, the fight was largely won by de Randamie, who was able to counter strike and land far more shots than Holm, who kept throwing from range.
Holm was more active and controlled the pace and position of the cage, but didn’t really do damage throughout the fight.
In the co-main event, Anderson Silva pulled out his first win in six fights by earning a unanimous decision win over Derek Brunson. Silva controlled the pace and had the edge standing, save for when they were in the clinch. There, Silva ate plenty of hard shots but seemed to not be bothered much by the damage.
Some thought Brunson should have won based on the clinch and his takedown in the third round, but it’s worth noting Silva stuffed several takedowns prior to that final one. Ultimately it was a weird fight that could have gone either way, but it wasn’t a strong win by any means. Silva, 41, insists he plans to fight for years to come.
Also in main card action, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza made short work of Tim Boetsch. When Boetsch stuffed the first takedown it looked like Jacare might have his hands full, but the second takedown was successful. From there, it didn’t take long for the kimura to be locked in and Boetsch was forced to tap.
Glover Teixeira prevailed in a dominant win over Jared Cannonier in light heavyweight action. Teixeira maintained top position for much of the fight, though neither fighter was ever in danger of being finished.
Dustin Poirier earned a majority decision win over Jim Miller to start the main card, though it seemed more like a dominant performance from the former than a close fight, so the draw on one judge’s scorecard was an odd one.
Below you can find the full play-by-play of the five main card fights and below that, the full results for the entire card from Saturday.
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Germaine de Randamie def. Holly Holm via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
Round 1: The two begin a long feeling-out process to start with Holm occasionally throwing low strikes from distance, but nothing lands for the first 90 seconds. The two exchange at that point with Holm landing a nice elbow, but nothing seriously damaging. De Randamie lands a nice right hand. Holm is more active and moving but de Randamie is laser focused and waiting for her opportunity. Holm wades in and Randamie lands both a right hand and a left hook. So far, de Randamie’s counters are looking dangerous while Holm is still trying to find her range. De Randamie goes in for a right hook of her own but Holm ducks it and tries to secure the takedown. They end up pressed against the cage with Holm attempting a single leg, but de Randamie holds her off. The round comes to an end with neither fighter really having the edge.
Round 2: Holm continues to try and strike from range but de Randamie is not there every time she comes in. Both land rights during an exchange about a minute into the round. Holm lands a one-two right after, but there’s no follow-up. De Randamie lands a hard right when Holm whiffs on a combo. De Randamie is throwing with power, setting every time Holm comes in. They clinch and Holm throws a knee to the body, and they get up against the cage. Neither fighter gets much done in the clinch. Holm throws some body shots but de Randamie turns around and gets her up against the cage, and throws some body shots of her own. Holm reverses it again and is pushing her into the cage. De Randamie lands a straight shot and then throws a hard, hard punch that wobbles Holm ... unfortunately, the shot came after the bell. The referee took no action, however. It was illegal, and the hardest shot of the fight. De Randamie apologizes and is warned, but no action is taken.
Round 3: Holm continues to throw combos from range, same as the start of the second. But nothing is landing. But the time she’s fully extended her arms, de Randamie is nowhere near the strikes. She’s being active and that’s important, but she has to do find a way to land consistently. With two minutes to go de Randamie goes on the offense, landing a strong punch and body kick combo that pushes Holm into the cage. Holm lands a strong leg kick with 80 seconds to go, and ends up up against the cage. She tries to disengage and eats a hard left from de Randamie. Holm lands a huge high kick and stumbles de Randamie. But de Randamie responds and throws a flurry at the end. At the bell she lands yet ANOTHER strong punch well after the bell. But the referee warns her again, not taking a point away.
Round 4: Going into the championship rounds, Holm has thrown far fewer strikes, but de Randamie has landed far more. Holm has some swelling over her left eye. Holm pushes de Randamie into the cage and there’s some clinch fighting but nothing significant for the first couple minutes. The referee separates the two and they both take the center of the octagon. Holm continues to throw and miss, but de Randamie isn’t landing either. Until just under the two minute mark when they exchange hard shot — a kick from Holm and a right hook from de Randamie. Then Holm is working de Randamie against the cage again. Holm is trying very hard to secure a takedown but she doesn’t get it. The round comes to an end with nobody landing anything significant.
Round 5: Holm quickly has de Randamie against the cage and landed a huge left hook to the jaw. It hurt de Randamie big time but Holm didn’t capitalize and instead worked the takedown against the cage. She doesn’t stick it, however, and with two minutes to go the referee separates the two. De Randamie has a cut opened from that left hook earlier in the round. Holm starts getting into de Randamie’s range and throwing again, but instead of following up she clinches her against the cage again.
It’s a very questionable decision from Holm, who must think that she has the fight won if she can hold de Randamie down for the final 90 seconds. She was winning the standup in the round but she stopped engaging just when she was doing damage. They continue throwing small shots in the clinch, exchanging knees and body shots but they don’t separate until 20 seconds remains. De Randamie lands a nice straight and Holm lands a hook as the fight comes to an end.
Anderson Silva def. Derek Brunson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Round 1: Silva is first to the center of the octagon, and they begin a long feeling out process. Silva wants Brunson to strike first but nothing happens for the first minute. Eventually Brunson throws a leg kick but Silva catches it. They disengage again. Brunson wades in again and Silva lands a counter right hand, though it didn’t land hard. Silva starts chasing Brunson and lands two big shots when Brunson goes for a takedown
Silva defends and gets pressed into the cage. Brunson throws some hard shots against the cage but they disengage again. Silva starts hunting Brunson down into the cage. Brunson throws a strong right and goes for a takedown but Silva stuffs it. They go to the cage again and Brunson lands some strong shots. Silva has taken some damage in the clinch thus far. Silva chases again and Brunson attempts and misses a takedown. Silva throws a spinning kick that Brunson blcoks and when they clinch again, Brunson lands some massive shots in the clinch. Silva eats them and goes for a flying knee but Brunson ends up on top of him as the round came to an end.
Round 2: Brunson shoots in the first minute but Silva sprawls and defends it. Brunson throws a low kick and Silva counters with a hard right hand. Silva is pushing the offense. He throws a spinning back fist and lands a big body kick, but Brunson takes the opportunity to secure a takedown. Silva gets back to his feet against the cage right away, however. Brunson keeps him pushed against the cage, and Silva is unable to break free for a full minute. They disengage and Brunson fails another takedown attempt. Silva taunts Brunson a little, spins, and throws a hard head kick that glances Brunson on his right side. Brunson is having trouble with his right eye and Silva is trying to take advantage of that. The round comes to an end with both fighters standing.
Round 3: Brunson again goes for a takedown to start the round, and Silva stops it. Brunson shoots again and Silva sprawls again. But Brunson keeps him up against the cage and tries to grind him out. They separate and Silva lands some short shots. They clinch and Brunson throws a knee that lands hard. Brunson goes for another takedown and it’s stuffed. Silva clinches with Brunson again and takes several hard shots while throwing none of his own. It’s weird, like Silva is just letting him throw in the clinch.
Brunson bodies Silva into the cage with 90 seconds to go and Silva lands a strong right. But ultimately, Brunson gets a takedown and gets into full guard on Silva. He tries to posture up to throw but Silva holds him down. Brunson isn’t doing much from the top. Silva tried to secure a butterfly guard but neither fighter is doing anything. Silva can’t get up and Brunson isn’t really throwing strikes. The round comes to an end in this position.
It’s a weird fight, where Brunson landed many significant strikes in the clinch and Silva landed many strong counters when standing. The takedown could have won Brunson the fight.
Ronaldo Souza def. Tim Boetsch via submission (kimura) at 3:41 of Round 1
Round 1: The two circle for the first minute and Souza shoots from long range and Boetsch sprawls and manages to stuff it. When they come back standing Souza has Boetsch in the clinch but lands nothing significant and they separate. Souza pushes Boetsch back with a body shot and a jab, but Boetsch comes back with a looping hook that stuns Souza briefly. They separate, and Boetsch throws a leg kick. It’s what Souza was waiting for though and he catches it, securing a takedown. With 90 seconds to go, Souza takes full mount. Boetsch gets out of it but Souza secures a very fast kimura and Boetsch is forced to tap rather than lose his arm.
Glover Teixeira def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Round 1: The two circle and throw jabs for the first minute, but it’s Teixeira who gets the first advantage when he secures a single-leg takedown a minute into the round. Teixeira tries to throw from full guard. Cannonier eventually gets to the top but Teixeira tries to hook a guillotine. He gets it tight but Cannonier gives up position by rolling, and thus got out of it, but Teixeira was on top in half guard with two minutes to go. They scramble for awhile and Teixeira briefly has full mount. He doesn’t keep it though, and the two get to their feet with 10 seconds to go. Cannonier lands a hard shot that stumbles Teixeira, but it probably wasn’t enough to steal the round.
Round 2: The two exchange some shots but again, Teixeira ends up on top. The two are very active and Teixeira ends up in half guard position. He’s working for a spot but the referee stands them up. It was a bad call by the referee, and not at all worth standing them up over. Cannonier takes the center of the octagon and is trying to land power shots from range. Teixeira wades in and throws some short jabs. Teixeira lands a nice body shot with 40 seconds to go. Nobody lands anything significant as time expires.
Round 3: Cannonier takes the center of the octagon but Teixeira again gets him to the ground quickly. Teixeira takes half guard and throws some elbows. Cannonier is doing nothing from the bottom. With three minutes to go, Teixeira takes full mount and then back mount on Cannonier. He lands some nice elbows but nothing with huge power. Cannonier is doing nothing but does get himself back into half guard. Teixeira stays on top until the final seconds. They get to their feet but nobody lands. It’s pretty clearly Teixeira’s fight.
Dustin Poirier def. Jim Miller via majority decision (28-28, 30-27, 39-28)
Round 1: Miller is the aggressor early on, but Poirier lands some good leg kicks in the opening seconds. Miller throws a right hook/left kick combination that lands and Poirier circles back. Miller shoots just as the second minute ticks down but Poirier defends it well and presses Miller into the cage. Poirier throws a kick and Miller catches him off guard and gets him to the ground. With a minute to go in the round, Miller takes Poirier’s back and fights for a rear-naked choke. He doesn’t get it though and Poirier gets out and on top of Miller. They get back to their feet with 15 seconds left and they start throwing big hooks at each other. Miller lands a hard one that stumbles Poirier then gets hit with one himself. The two end the round swinging.
Round 2: Poirier is firing on all cylinders now. Miller is a grinder, but Poirier lands several hard shots and Miller is bleeding quite a bit from cuts on his face. Miller shoots for a single-leg takedown and he can’t get it. Poirier is dropping his hands and is unconcerned with Miller’s jabs. Miller keeps up and stays standing but he takes several hard shots and spends the rest of the round simply surviving while Poirier clearly took the round.
Round 3: Miller has been throwing leg kicks all fight and suddenly it’s paying off. Poirier falls from one kick and Miller wants to throw more. Poirier is a bit more tentative with his striking as Miller tries to cut him down at the legs. Unfortunately, Miller is mostly out of gas and Poirier eventually ends up on top of Miller with 90 seconds to go. Poirier is in stall mode but Miller gets back to his feet. Miller pushes Poirier into the cage while Poirier controls his wrist. With a minute left Poirier grimaces in pain from a Miller knee to his leg. But Poirier gets on top again with 40 seconds to go. Miller attempts a kimura but the round and fight ends with Poirier throwing from the top.
Below is a list of the full results for Saturday’s action from Barclays Center.
Pay-per-view Main Card results
Women’s featherweight: Germaine de Randamie def. Holly Holm via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
Middleweight: Anderson Silva def. Derek Brunson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Middleweight: Ronaldo Souza def. Tim Boetsch via submission (kimura) at 3:41 of Round 1
Light heavyweight: Glover Teixeira def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Lightweight: Dustin Poirier def. Jim Miller via majority decision (28-28, 30-27, 29-28)
Fox Sports 1 prelims results
Welterweight: Belal Muhammad def. Randy Brown via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Flyweight: Wilson Reis def. Ulka Sasaki via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Lightweight: Islam Makhachev def. Nik Lents via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-27)
Featherweight: Rick Glenn def. Phillipe Nover via split decision (29-28, 27-30, 29-28)
UFC Fight Pass prelims results
Welterweight: Ryan LaFlare def. Roan Carneiro via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-28)