Former UFC women’s featherweight champion Germaine de Randamie can capture a belt in a second weight class should she beat Amanda Nunes for the bantamweight title on Saturday night.
She won’t be trying to come after Nunes’ more subjective moniker as the greatest female fighter in mixed martial arts history when they meet at UFC 245 at T-Mobile Arena.
“Hell no,” the 35-year-old Dutch kickboxer said Wednesday at MGM Grand. “I’m just Germaine no matter what. I’m nothing more than that. I have the utmost respect for (Nunes) and without any doubt she is the very best MMA female fighter on the planet at this moment. And if I beat her, I’m still just Germaine. That’s it.”
De Randamie will be looking to do more than make history on Saturday. She also seeks to avenge the lone loss of her UFC career. Nunes scored a first-round knockout with elbows on the ground after a takedown in their 2013 bout.
Both fighters have gone on to win titles since that night. De Randamie cites the first meeting as a turning point in her career as she was attempting to go from undefeated world champion kickboxer to mixed martial arts star.
“Six years is a very, very long time,” de Randamie said. “I’m very thankful to Amanda. She gave me the best lesson ever. She made me wake up. I can say I’m a mixed martial artist now. I’m not just a kickboxer. That’s the biggest difference now.”
Nunes’s career has also taken off since that fight. She won the belt with a dominant win over Miesha Tate in the main event of the historic UFC 200 event in 2016 before following it up with a 48-second knockout of Ronda Rousey later that year. Nunes cemented her legacy by winning the featherweight belt with a first-round knockout of Cris “Cyborg” Justino in December and continues to add to her resume every time she steps in the cage.
De Randamie acknowledges Nunes is the best female fighter on the roster at the moment, but isn’t one to affix the so-called ‘GOAT’ label to anyone because it implies some sort of invincibility.
“I don’t believe there’s a ‘(Greatest of all-time)’,” she said. “Everyone is beatable. It’s been proven over and over again. There’s been champions with very long reigns, but nobody is unbeatable. Everyone has two hands and two feet and everybody can be defeated.”
De Randamie herself hasn’t experienced a loss since she last fought Nunes, racking up five wins while continuing to work full-time as a police officer in The Netherlands.
It’s not something she has considered giving up despite her successes in the cage. She enjoys helping people and giving her fellow citizens a better sense of security.
De Randamie also has a great deal of fun competing. She’s often seen smiling, laughing and joking fight weeks just as much as she does the rest of the year.
“As a fighter, your time span is this short,” she said. “It’s a waste of my energy to not enjoy this. I did everything I could in this camp and I’ll leave it all in the cage on Saturday, so why not enjoy it? In life we should do what makes us happy, and this is honestly what makes me happy. I don’t want to waste time on negative energy because I’m a positive person.”
Not everything makes her happy, though. De Randamie brushed off a question about her featherweight title reign, which came to an end when she was stripped of the belt for declining to face Justino.
“I left that all behind,” she said. “I moved forward. There comes a time in your life you have to do that. There’s no sense looking back. I’ve made the best out of it. That belt is gone and now I’m fighting for a new one. I want that belt, but more than that I want to fight the best fighters in the world. That’s why I want to fight Amanda. That’s what I get to do on Saturday night.”
The bout is one of three title fights on the card. Kamaru Usman will put the welterweight belt on the line against Colby Covington, and Alexander Volkanovski will challenge Max Holloway for the featherweight title.
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