History was made in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday night. The first ever UFC featherweight women’s champion was crowned, although that first was overshadowed by what was a largely disappointing PPV card marred by a dismal run of matches, some questionable matchmaking and an inept third man.
Nine of the 10 fights that made it into the Octagon went to decision, while the main event – where Germaine de Randamie outpointed Holly Holm to claim the vacant 145lb belt – suffered from some poor officiating by the New York State Commission appointed referee.
The main card was also stung by two divisional mismatches; highly ranked guys walking through unranked opponents. And while the co-main event threw up a much-needed victory for the great Anderson Silva, even his points win was a bout starved of any real action and with a debatable outcome.
UFC president Dana White, who admitted the card was a stinker, was also quick to distance himself from the choice of refree in the post-fight show on Fox. “I feel like the ref from New York shouldn’t be reffing a main event fight,” he said. “They don’t have enough experience. He should not have been in there. But again, we don’t make those decisions. The commission does.
“That was a bad decision by them, and if that guy takes a point for hitting after the bell, it’s a draw. The only possible way this night could be any s**ttier.”
Dustin Poirier’s three-round slugfest with Jim Miller was the only real scrap of real note on the entire card, cruising off with the ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus. Littered with sloppy striking, even this tough guy show was no instant classic as both kicked the legs from under one another.
‘Jacare’ Souza’s ruthless kimura of the hapless Tim Boetsch was the only other performance that demanded a post fight bonus in NYC. But was wholly predictable when you match the leading middleweight contender on the planet against a guy known as being the gatekeeper to the top 15.
Holm’s main event defeat to de Randamie, meanwhile, had the opportunity to steal the thunder of the entire card. With the first ever women’s featherweight championship on the line, and world number one 145lb female Cris ‘Cyborg’ stuck watching from cageside, the stage appeared to be set for a little of that old Octagon magic.
But the two strike-heavy blown up bantamweights (both tipped the scales well inside the championship weight) busted and bumped their way through five rounds. The action never really jelled meaning the post-fight fallout focused on de Randamie’s tendency to hit Holm after the bell to end each round, a foul complimented by poor officiating from title fight first timer Todd Anderson.
“It wasn’t the best fight I ever saw,” White conceded afterwards. “I was hoping that the main event would deliver and erase most of the rest of the night. That didn’t happen. You know me, it’s been a long time since we’ve had a bad show, and they happen. It happens.”
Roll on UFC Fight Night 105 in Nova Scotia this weekend…