Germaine de Randamie’s reign as UFC women’s featherweight champion did not go as planned.
De Randamie was recently stripped of her UFC championship after refusing to defend her title against Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino.
So what will De Randamie’s legacy in the UFC be going forward? At the end of the day, she will always be the first ever UFC women’s featherweight champion, but will she get the respect as other former champions?
De Randamie’s stint as a featherweight was always surrounded by controversy. Just by being in the first women’s 145-pound title fight in the UFC, fans and media were critical of the UFC’s first women’s featherweight fight due to the absence of Justino.
After winning two fights in the bantamweight division, neither against a ranked opponent, De Randamie was given a title opportunity against former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Holly Holm, who was on a two-fight losing streak.
On paper, De Randamie vs. Holm wasn’t a bad fight. It would have been good matchmaking for the bantamweight division, but a title being on the line didn’t make sense.
Going into the fight people were already critical, but adding a controversial decision at the end didn’t help. And on top of that, De Randamie clearly punched Holm on numerous occasions after the horn to end the round had been blown.
In the end, De Randamie won a decision and was awarded the featherweight title.
De Randamie made very few fans with her title-winning performance. She made even fewer fans by saying her hand was injured after the fight, and she would be taking time away from the UFC tot let it heal. Many people assumed that was her trying to avoid a fight with “Cyborg.”
Eventually, De Randamie came out and said she refused to fight Justino because of her past with performance-enhancing drugs. “Cyborg” had tested positive for PEDs back in 2011.
As a result, the UFC stripped her of her championship. The promotion will crown a new champion on July 29, at UFC 214, when Justino fights Invicta Featherweight Champion Megan Anderson.
De Randamie earned the distinction of being the first UFC women’s featherweight champion, but her actions after that may have tarnished her legacy forever.