Germaine de Randamie stated her case for a shot at Amanda Nunes and the UFC bantamweight title at UFC on ESPN+ 13 on Saturday in Sacramento, Calif. She made quick, if controversial, work of Aspen Ladd.
Coming into the fight on a four-fight winning streak, former featherweight champion de Randamie wanted to put on a good fight for fans and make a case for a shot at Nunes, who recently defended the 135-pound title against Holly Holm.
Whether or not it was a great fight is debatable, but it certainly was a quick finish.
The former featherweight titleholder got her jab going early, 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 ties de Randamie with Ronda Rousey for the fastest in UFC women’s history.
While many in the crowd booed the stoppage, de Randamie seemed to think that Ladd wouldn’t have come back from her huge right hand.
“I hit her on the button. Herb Dean called it,” de Randamie said in the Octagon after the fight. “If you look at the shot, I dropped her. She didn’t know where she was. It was a clean shot.”
Ranked No. 1 in the 135-pound division coming into the fight and taking out the No. 4 ranked Ladd in 16 seconds, a title shot would seem the likely next step for de Randamie, but she relegated that decision to the UFC brass.
“I don’t know what’s next. We’ll see. Let’s ask the UFC what’s next.”
The defeat was the first of Ladd’s professional career, but she took it in stride.
“S—t happens,” Ladd said of the knockout. “(The referee) did what he thought was best. I felt fine, but I can’t judge these things.”