Germaine de Randamie had an immense challenge in front of her at UFC 208:
Beat the woman who beat the icon.
Holly Holm will forever be known as the person who changed the course of MMA with her stunning upset of the previously undefeated Ronda Rousey. But de Randamie made her own history Saturday by becoming the first UFC women’s featherweight champion at UFC 208 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The big storyline heading into the fight between two world class strikers : What happens if the both women neutralize other on the feet? What if the fight goes to the ground?
Holm tried her best to get fight to the mat, attempting nine takedowns and applying a tireless clinching game plan, but de Randamie stopped every advance by the former bantamweight champion.
The final stats showed that de Randamie edged Holm by just a few strikes, landing 144-122 and 80-77 in significant strikes.
Now a new division has its champion, but the unofficial No. 1 contender Cris Cyborg awaits.
These are the UFC 208 Talking Points
More from UFC 208: Full results | de Randamie makes history by defeating Holm | Silva, Jacare, Teixeira get main card wins | Fighters go distance for prelim wins
Watch Octagon interviews: Germaine de Randamie, Anderson Silva, Ryan LaFlare
Backstage interviews: Anderson Silva, Jacare Souza, Glover Teixeira
Order the UFC 208 digital replay now!
Cris Cyborg awaits the champ
Cris Cyborg was supposed to be a part of the inaugural UFC women’s featherweight championship fight. UFC president Dana White has said that he created the division with the Brazilian in mind.
Although she wasn’t in the Octagon Saturday night, Cyborg loomed large from her seat in the first row. When the Invicta FC featherweight champion is cleared to return, her first order of business surely will be to get acquainted with the brand-new UFC champion.
The Legend adds another chapter to storied career
The decision may have been a strange one, but Anderson Silva showed that he can still compete at a high level at almost 42 years of age.
Silva won on all three judges’ scorecards – despite being taken down and out-struck by Derek Brunson – and now “The Spider” suddenly has momentum in a very crowded division.
Michael Bisping holds the championship belt, and Yoel Romero and Jacare Souza are seemingly the next challengers. But Silva looked like the Spider of old against Brunson with his improved takedown defense. Because Silva is a counter striker, he tends to wait for his opponents to engage and in this fight it almost cost him.
Silva isn’t thinking about retirement just yet. People tell him all the time that he is an old man and ask him why he continues to compete with nothing left to prove.
One of the greatest of all time is just having too much fun.
“This is my air, this is my heart. Fight is my life,” Silva said. “When I go inside the cage I just, I back to my 30 years old and just happy.”
Jacare reaffirms position as top threat to champion
After a five-fight win streak to begin his UFC career, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza believed he had done enough to earn a title shot. It was a title eliminator fight that came next and the Brazilian dropped a close split decision against Yoel Romero.
Despite having his momentum stunted by “The Soldier of God,” Jacare has shot right back to the top of the list of title contenders, thanks to first-round finishes against Vitor Belfort and Tim Boetsch, whom Souza submitted Saturday in under four minutes at UFC 208.
The problem for Jacare now is that Romero sits one position ahead of him in the line for a crack at Michael Bisping. So it will likely be a waiting game for Souza, who has established himself as perhaps the pound-for-pound best ground fighter in mixed martial arts.
Poirier returns to contender pool with win
Since moving up to lightweight, Poirier has proved to be a dynamic and tough striker with a well-rounded game. He proved that once again with a magnificent performance against Jim Miller.
Poirier’s instincts in the striking exchanges were flawless as he dipped and countered, battering the face of Miller over the course of 15 minutes. The options for Poirier are endless as he now looks to begin a new win streak and another climb up the ladder once again.
Matt Parrino is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MattParrinoUFC