Germaine de Randamie believes a rematch with Holly Holm is next
Newly crowned UFC champion Germaine de Randamie says she is "not afraid" of Cris "Cyborg" Justino -- but feels her next fight should be a rematch against Holly Holm.
De Randamie (7-3) became the UFC's first 145-pound female champion last weekend, as she defeated Holm via unanimous decision at UFC 208 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The victory set up a potential fight between De Randamie and Justino (17-1). De Randamie, however, has said she wants to fight Holm again because of the circumstances surrounding their fight.
"I definitely think [a rematch is next]," De Randamie said on Thursday. "Especially with everything going on right now -- even though I might have to step out for a little bit to get my hand fixed -- I believe if [Holm] is up for it, we can do the rematch."
At the moment, it's not clear how soon Justino would be available to fight. The Brazilian fighter failed an out-of-competition drug test in December and is facing a possible one-year suspension but has filed for a retroactive therapeutic-use exemption.
Before UFC 208, UFC president Dana White told ESPN.com Justino's situation was looking "really good" and that she might be cleared to fight relatively soon.
De Randamie laughed off suggestions that she is trying to avoid a fight with Justino. She said she is dealing with a hand injury that might require surgery and is more interested in a Holm rematch whenever she returns.
"I don't take it personal," De Randamie said when asked about the "ducking" accusations. "Everybody is entitled to say whatever they want to say. I know I'm not afraid and I know I will fight everybody.
"Right now, there's a lot going on and my focus is somewhere else. At the end of the day, it was five days ago I fought for the UFC belt and it's been so busy, so hectic, I really haven't had time to enjoy it. Right now, I'm going to enjoy it."
The five-round fight against Holm featured some controversy, as De Randamie clearly landed punches after the bell following the second and third rounds. Holm has even filed an appeal with the New York State Athletic Commission, based on referee Todd Anderson's decision not to deduct a point for the late blows.
De Randamie, of the Netherlands, denied throwing those punches intentionally and welcomed Holm to fight her a second time.
"It was heated exchanges, nothing more," De Randamie said. "When I throw combinations, it's very hard to pull my hands back when I'm already in the combination. I've never thrown any dirty shots.
"If Holly feels those are the reasons she lost the fight and she's looking to make it a no-contest or a draw, she should simply accept the offer I put out to rematch her," De Randamie said.