Germaine de Randamie achieved a goal that very few fighters ever reach. She became a UFC champion.
Before she ever defended the inaugural UFC featherweight belt, the promotion took it away. de Randamie, however, isn’t all that bothered by the UFC’s decision.
The “Iron Lady” won the UFC featherweight title by defeating Holly Holm at a time when Cris “Cyborg” Justino was refusing to fight due to health reasons. Following her championship victory, de Randamie was expected to return to the Octagon to put the belt on the line against Cyborg, for whom UFC president Dana White admitted that the promotion had created the division.
Cyborg tested positive for performance enhancing substances in the past and was recently granted a retroactive therapeutic use exemption to clear up another potential violation. That didn’t sit well with de Randamie, who refused to fight Cyborg, citing the anti-doping issues.
Even though the UFC stripped her of the belt and matched Cyborg in a fight with Tonya Evinger to determine a new champion at UFC 214 on July 29 in Anaheim, Calif., de Randamie insisted that she doesn’t regret standing by her refusal to fight Cyborg.
“I don’t regret anything. I stand for my principles and I believe that forbidden substances are not allowed in sport, especially not fighting,” de Randamie said during a Monday interview on The MMA Hour. “This is a full contact sport. People have ended up in wheelchairs. I was just reading the other day that a boxer did his first pro fight and is now drinking out of a straw. We put our lives on the line and we are here to entertain people.”
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Someone potentially gaining a physical advantage by taking performance enhancing drugs is something that de Randamie won’t condone nor accept. And she feels that Cyborg is getting a pass to compete after having cheated.
Even losing the belt over the matter was something that de Randamie was okay with in the end. She said that she had received a lot of negativity about the situation, particularly on social media where she received vile comments, and was ready to move on. She even went so far as to admit that she felt a sense of relief.
“To be honest, it didn’t hurt at all (to be stripped of the belt). I felt kind of relieved because of all the negative stuff that happened,” de Randamie admitted. “The negative viral that kept coming and coming and coming. It continued every day. I don’t care about the belt.”
de Randamie will return to bantamweight on Sept. 2 at UFC Fight Night 115. She is slated to face Marion Reneau in Rotterdam, Netherlands.