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The shadow of the most dominant women's featherweight fighter in the world, Cristine 'Cyborg' Justino, loomed large over the build up to the fight, but as 'Cyborg' watched on from cageside, the focus switched to Holm and de Randamie as they made their way into the Octagon to see who would be crowned the division's first ever champion.
After the introductions were done, the first women's featherweight title fight got underway and the two opened tentatively throwing single shots from the outside as Holm continuously circled to avoid de Randamie squaring her up and unloading. The Dutch fighter landed the better strikes of the two and stuffed a late takedown attempt by Holm at the end of the opening first five minutes.
Round two came and went and a pattern was emerging. Holm's striking from the outset was landing short and de Randamie continually landed stiff counters to rock back head and punish her. A controversial moment happened at the end of the second when da Randamie clocked Holm with a brutal punch way after the round had to a close and buckled her legs as she staggered back to the corner.
Holm answered the bell for the third round, but she continued tentatively as da Randamie probed forward looking for opportunities to punish her with single pot shots. A clinch against the cage saw Holm attempt a takedown, but de Randamie was wise to it and broke away easily landing a punch on the break.
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Controversy struck again at the end of third went Holm had her brightest spot in the fight when she landed a head kick. De Randamie's legs dipped, but she responded again by throwing another punch that clipped Holm again after the bell for the round had clearly sounded. The fans booed and commentator urged the referee to take a point, but with the referee content with just giving another warning the de Randamie went unpunished yet again.
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Round four opened with Holm dictating the fight as he pushed de Randamie's back against the cage twice. Holm tried desperately to get the takedown, but the Dutchwoman resisted and managed to break away landing a knee as she did.
The final round began tentatively with both women sensing they were close on the cards. Holm scored the first significant strike of the round with a big left hand, but she again attempted to take de Randamie down up against the cage and failed. The fight closed out with both women trading strikes until the final few seconds with both their faces bloodied.
The rest was then up to the judges and after a brief wait, it was announced that all three judges scored the bout 48-47 in favor of de Randamie. Not everyone in attendance liked the result and Joe Rogan on commentary was quick to point out that had the referee deducted a point like he should've done at the end of round three, the fight would've been a draw. That wasn't the case though and de Randamie celebrated with her team after with the UFC belt strapped around her waist.
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UFC 208 Full Results
Germaine de Randamie def. Holly Holm via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
Anderson Silva def. Derek Brunson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza def. Tim Boetsch via submission (kimura), Round 1, 3:41
Glover Teixeira def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-26)
Dustin Poirier def. Jim Miller via majority decision (28-28, 30-27, 29-28)
Belal Muhammad def. Randy Brown by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Wilson Reis def. Ulka Sasaki via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Islam Makhachev def. Nik Lentz via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-27)
Rick Glenn def. Phillipe Nover via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
Ryan LaFlare def. Roan Carneiro via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-28)