Germaine de Randamie has accepted Holly Holm's request for a rematch for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's featherweight title after being accused of being a dirty fighter for punching after the bell.
The Albuquerque-born fighter lost the inaugural bout for the featherweight title at UFC 208 on Saturday (11 February), but claimed that the judge's decision, which came in favour of De Randamie 48-47 after five rounds was based on her punches that came after the bell. Holm believes the punches landed by the Dutchwoman after the bell were "intentional" and the hardest she experienced during the entire fight.
De Randamie was warned after her first infringement, but Holm believes she should have been deducted a point when she did it a second time during the fight. The referee, Todd Anderson, refused to penalise the fighter and came under criticism from UFC president Dana White in the aftermath of the event in New York city.
"She hit hard shots," Holm said at the UFC 208 post-fight press conference, as quoted by mmafighting.com. "She hit hard shots after the bell, those are the hardest shots I felt the whole entire fight."
"A lot of times, the first one they give a warning, that's kind of normal. I wouldn't expect them to take a point after the first one, even though it was intentional. The second time, at that point you think they'd do something.
"It wasn't like the last punch of a combination after the bell rang. It was intentional and it was after the bell. What can you do?" she explained.
"I think it merits a rematch. When you have more than half the people saying the fight should go the other way, that warrants a rematch, so, that would be awesome."
The former bantamweight champion's call for a rematch was accepted by the newly crowned UFC women's featherweight champion. De Randamie wants the winner to be "crystal clear" rather than being a tainted champion. The Dutch fighter's management put up an image of her Facebook post, where she rejects claims that she is a dirty fighter and is ready to offer Holm another chance to claim the title.
"I want to say that it was a heated battle with lots of EMOTION, but I am not a dirty fighter. I have always trained to fight to the end or until the referee steps in. Never did I punch around or over the referee to deliver a cheap shot on Holly," De Randamie wrote on her official Facebook page, as revealed on mmafighting.com
"I have nothing but respect for Holly and the UFC, and because of that I want to say right now that I owe it Holly and the fans to do this fight again and make sure that the winner of this historic belt is crystal clear. Holly let's do this again," she added.