The UFC continues to write history with UFC 208 this weekend, 11 February, taking place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The historic headliner sees former Bantamweight champion Holly Holm (10-2) facing off against Germaine de Randamie (6-3) to determine the inaugural UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion.
New Mexico native Holm steps up to 145lbs following back-to-back defeats at Bantamweight after a 10-0 run as a top flight professional. Holm lost the 135lb Bantamweight crown to perennial top contender Miesha Tate in March of 2016 and was unable to bounce back against kickboxing expert Valentina Schevchenko in July. Nevertheless, Holm remains the no.2 ranked contender at Bantamweight and is arguably the best pure striker in the UFC. The multiple time world boxing champion has the opportunity to make history as the first Woman to win UFC championships in two weight divisions and set up a potential super-fight with the likes of Cristiane Justino. A second UFC title reign would mark the beginning of a major new chapter in the 35-year-old’s career. Enhanced performances from cutting 10lbs less could tap into a second wind for the Jackson-Wink Academy product that in time may even eclipse her colossal knockout victory over Ronda Rousey in 2015, a career highlight that few would have imagined her topping.
While her insertion into the UFC title picture may have been sudden, Holland’s Germaine de Randamie began to build momentum towards contender status as the no.10 ranked Bantamweight before being handed a shot at the new Featherweight crown. Having competed twice as a Featherweight under the Strikeforce banner, she came up short against Invicta and Bellator front runner Julia Budd before besting Hiroko Yamanaka. The 32-year-old most recently went 3-1 as a UFC Bantamweight, losing only to the now current champion Amanda Nunes and picked up wins over Julie Kedzie, Larissa Pacheco and Anna Elmose. ‘The Iron Lady’ is now riding a 2 fight win streak with TKO stoppages over both Pacheco and Elmose.
The co-main event sees iconic former Middleweight champion Anderson Silva (33-8-1nc) return to action for the first time since his valiant loss to Light-Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 200 last July. Now 41-years-old the human highlight reel is without a recorded win since 2012 and takes a step back from top contender status to test 33-year-old Middleweight Derek Brunson (16-4). A win for Silva could be vital to maintaining his top-10 status while victory for the no.8 ranked Brunson would see him step above the no.7 ranked ‘Spider’.
Since his transition from Strikeforce in 2012, Brunson has evolved to become a fearsome UFC contender going 7-2 with the top promotion. He established an impressive 5 fight win streak from 2014-2016 featuring 4 consecutive knockout wins including a stoppages over Uriah Hall and Sam Alvey.
Also on the card, no.3 ranked Middleweight Ronaldo Souza (23-4-1nc) aims to maintain his presence on the doorstep of a 185lb title shot when he takes on Tim Boetsch (20-10).
UFC 208 full card:
Women’s Featherweight Championship: Holly Holm vs. Germaine de Randamie
Middleweight: Anderson Silva vs. Derek Brunson
Middleweight: Ronaldo Souza vs. Tim Boetsch
Light Heavyweight: Glover Teixeira vs. Jared Cannonier
Lightweight: Dustin Poirier vs. Jim Miller
Welterweight: Randy Brown vs. Belal Muhammad
Flyweight: Wilson Reis vs. Ulka Sasaki
Lightweight: Nik Lentz vs. Islam Makhachev
Flyweight: Ian McCall vs. Jarred Brooks
UFC Fight Pass Prelims
Heavyweight: Marcin Tybura vs. Justin Willis
Welterweight: Ryan LaFlare vs. Roan Carneiro
Featherweight: Phillipe Nover vs. Rick Glenn