Ranked No. 1 in the bantamweight division coming into her UFC on ESPN+ 13 bout with No. 4 ranked Aspen Ladd on Saturday in Sacramento, Calif., Germaine de Randamie would be well within her rights to call for a shot at UFC bantamweight titleholder Amanda Nunes. After all, de Randamie disposed of Ladd in a record-tying 16 seconds.
That’s just not in her nature, however. And it’s not because there was a bit of controversy over how quickly referee Herb Dean stopped the fight.
De Randamie got her jab going quickly, but almost as soon as the jab started doing its work, de Randamie stepped in with a right cross that hit the mark. Ladd immediately fell to her hands and knees.
As de Randamie swung a left hand to the face of her downed opponent, referee Herb Dean stepped in and stopped the fight, etching de Randamie’s name in the record books. The 16-second knockout tied de Randamie with Ronda Rousey for the fastest in UFC women’s history.
While many in the crowd booed the stoppage, de Randamie doesn’t believe Ladd would have come back from her huge right hand.
“This is the fastest knockout in my career ever. I don’t know what to say,” de Randamie said during her interview on the UFC on ESPN+ 13 post-fight show.
“I think it was a good stoppage because I really, really rocked her with the punch and I threw another punch. And if Herb Dean wasn’t going to step in, I was going to jump on top of her and finish the fight anyway,” she continued.
“Why do more damage? She was rocked bad. I hit her and she turned around.”
Being the former UFC featherweight champion, de Randamie would, of course, like to get a crack at the bantamweight belt, but isn’t opposed to taking another fight before she gets a shot if Nunes – the UFC’s first female champ-champ – isn’t ready for another bantamweight bout yet. Nunes took out Holly Holm in the first round of UFC 239 on July 6 in Las Vegas.
“(Fighting for the bantamweight belt next) would be, of course, a dream picture. But I’ve heard Amanda wants to defend her 145 belt first. I absolutely respect that,” said de Randamie, though she has an alternative plan in mind.
“I’ve heard the UFC is going to New Zealand. I love traveling and I want to go to New Zealand. So let’s fight a fight before (the bantamweight championship) and when Amanda’s ready, I’m ready.”
In this day when many fighters would be spewing venom to make sure they are next for the title shot, de Randamie is fine waiting for alternative scenarios to play out. The belt is a motivator for her, but it’s not the be-all, end-all for the Dutch police officer.
“Every day, I go to my job. I love my job. I love helping people. Every day, I look in the mirror and I never forget who I am. I never forget where I’m born, where I’m raised,” said de Randamie.
“Money will never change me. Money is not everything. Love, having a pure soul, being happy. Being healthy, being happy, what more do you want in life? I am a blessed person.”
(Courtesy of UFC)