Updated: Jun 12
UFC Dual Belt Champion Amanda "Lioness" Nunes risks her bantamweight crown Saturday, December 14th at UFC 245 against Dutch striker Germaine "the Iron Lady" de Randamie.
This is not the first time these two strikers faced one another in a 135 lb match. Nunes beat de Randamie late in the 1st round with elbow strikes back in 2013 at UFC Fight for the Troops 3.
Since losing to Nunes, de Randamie has been on a five fight win streak with her most recent TKO in the 1st round beating bantamweight Aspen Ladd, earning her a title shot.
Although Nunes acknowledged that de Randamie earned a title shot in the bantamweight division (135 lbs) she would have preferred the fight in the featherweight division (145 lbs). Which would have made sense since both fighters are natural feather weights and could have avoided having to cut weight, but according to Nunes, "The Iron lady" would only take the fight at 135.
During the UFC 245 New York press conference, de Randamie did not deny Nunes claims that she did not want to take the match in the featherweight division. She stated "I declined the fight at 145. I was the 145 title champion. No body defeated me to take that belt. Only the UFC took that belt."
de Randamie might have walked away with the belt that night via unanimous decision, but NOT without some controversy. de Randamie faced Holly Holm back in February 2017 for the inaugural women's featherweight title fight at UFC 208 Holm vs de Randamie. Not only did she throw illegal blows after the bell in rounds 2 & 3, the referee gave no warnings nor took points away. After the fight, Holm stated that she wanted a rematch and Dana White thought it should have been a draw.
If that wasn't enough, de Randamie was later removed as the women's featherweight champion due to her unwillingness to fight the No. 1 ranked contender, Cris 'Cyborg' Justino. In defense, de Randamie and her team made a public statement that she would not fight 'Cyborg' because 'Cyborg' is a known and proven cheater." To be fair Cyborg failed an out of competition drug test administered by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in January 2017, but she was not punished because she provided documented information that proved the test results were caused by a legitimate medical treatment.
de Randamie continued to say at the UFC 245 New York press conference "I want the 135 lb belt, it's the most active weight division. There are a lot more girls at 135 than 145. I've been through a lot of shit, so 135 it will be. I could care less about the belt...I just want to fight the best."
Listen to Germaine de Randamie explain why she won't fight Nunes for the featherweight title
With all that said... Nunes doesn't seem to mind too much even if she has to cut weight to make it happen. She is willing to fight her challengers regardless of claims of cheating via use of steroids or cheap shots after the bell was rung, which in my mind makes Nunes by far, a much more agreeable champ.
If I were betting on this fight I would have to go with Nunes just looking at both fighters records. Some sports fans are expecting an upset with de Randamie coming out as the new queen and I could make an argument for her but I won't. What I will say is, unlike de Randamie's 5 win streak, that Nunes has been on a nine straight win streak against some of the very best competitors WMMA has ever offered in two weight divisions! Nunes has 13 knock outs and 3 submissions, annihilating the likes of Holly Holm, Cristiane Justino, Raquel Pennington, Ronda Rousey, Meisha Tate, Sara McMann, Sheila Gaff, Ediane Gomes, Julia Budd, Vanessa Porto and de Randamie herself.
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