The decision: 48-47 on all three official cards, all for .. Germaine de Randamie. Albuquerque’s Holly Holm falls to 10-3 in her MMA career. De Randamie becomes the first UFC women’s featherweight champion.
Look for more coverage at abqjournal.com and in Sunday’s print edition.
Now, finally, the main event. With de Randamie already in the Octagon, Holm is about to enter to the sound of bagpipes as she has so often during her combat sports career.
The legendary Anderson Silva gets the decision over Jackson-Wink’s Derek Brunson. Highly questionable but popular with the crowd. Scores: 29-28, 29-28, 30-27, all for Silva. The Journal had it 30-27 for Brunson, as did a few others cage side.
After the first stoppage of the night — Jacare Souza over Tim Boetsch, 1st round kimura — Jackson-Wink middleweight Derek Brunson (16-4) is up next. He’s facing the legendary Brazilian Anderson Silva (33-8).
… Breaking news involving three Jackson-Wink fighters:
The UFC announced Saturday that Albuquerque strawweight Michelle Waterson (14-4) will headline a UFC on Fox card vs. Rose Namajunas (5-3) on a UFC April 15 in Kansas City, Mo.
In the wake of her impressive victory over Paige VanZant, Waterson, who trains at Jackson-Wink, is in New York this week. She did interviews and conducted an open workout in advance of Saturday’s card.
The UFC also announced that Jackson-Wink teammates Cub Swanson and Diego Sanchez will be in action April 22 on a Fight Night card in Nashville, Tenn. Swanson, a featherweight, is matched against Artem Lobov, a Russia native who trains in Ireland and is a teammate of Conor McGregor.
Swanson (24-7 and Lobov (13-12) have exchanged less than pleasant words on Twitter of late.
Sanchez (27-9) is matched against Al Iaquinta (12-3) of New York.
… Greetings from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., where Albuquerque’s Holly Holm and The Netherlands’ Germaine de Randamie will meet later tonight (Saturday) in the main event of UFC 208. The fight is for the newly minted UFC women’s featherweight (145-pound) title.
I’ll be blogging here with action as it happens, though there won’t be anything New Mexico-related until well into the night. UFC middleweight Derek Brunson, Holm’s teammate at Albuquerque’s Jackson-Wink MMA, will face MMA and UFC legend Anderson Silva in a featured fight that will precede Holm-de Randamie.
Holm (10-2) is the former UFC bantam weight (135-pound) champion, having defeated Ronda Rousey by second-round TKO on Nov. 14, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. The victory over Rousey made Holm a national and international celebrity and an overwhelmingly popular figure in her native Albuquerque.
After the victory over Rousey, Holm lost her title to Miesha Tate by fifth-round submission (rear naked choke) in a major upset. Some four months later, Holm lost to Valentina Shevchenko by unanimous decision.
Clearly, tonight’s bout is crucial for the 35-year-old Albuquerquean’s future in the sport. Though Holm has given no indication that she would retire should she lose, a third consecutive loss surely would damage her standing in the UFC, by far MMA’s most powerful organization.
De Randamie (6-3) has less MMA experience than Holm and hasn’t fought as strong opposition. But the Dutch fighter has never lost a striking match — she’s undefeated in a long career as a kickboxer — and most observers believe she can match Holm, a former world champion boxer with a kickboxing background, punch for punch and kick for kick.
De Randamie, in fact, is a slight betting favorite. Among the media, de Randamie seems to have the edge. Among other fighters, it’s Holm.