De Randamie, the top ranked contender, made sure she stayed that way by seeing off No4-ranked Julianna Peña. But it wasn’t that she won, but the way in which she won that impressed the masses. A striker by trade, de Randamie put Peña to sleep with a tight guillotine choke in the third round – taking the fight out of the hands of the judges who all had it scored one round each after two.
In the main event, Holm put on a striking clinic to blow No6-ranked Irene Aldana away convincingly on the judges’ scorecards. The former bantamweight champion more than doubled to total strikes landed of Aldana (187-92), and landed five takedowns against an opponent who had previously only been taken down twice in eight UFC bouts.
Putting lateral movement to good use with an array of kicks and punching combinations, Holm had Aldana chasing her all fight. Aldana couldn’t find a way to cut the cage off, which allowed Holm the freedom to pick her spots, stick and move.
It allowed her to cruise to a 5-0 shut out on all three scorecards and maintain her contender status.
Video Credits: UFC – Ultimate Fighting Championship
With de Randamie and Holm winning in the fashion they did, it would be hard to look past them for the next shot at the title. However, the pair were the two most recent challengers to Amanda Nunes‘ throne – Holm was stopped in the first round, while de Randamie had some success on the feet but got wrestled to a lop-sided loss.
With Nunes winning both fights so convincingly, perhaps it could be a while before the UFC books another bantamweight title defence for her. But with Nunes set to defend her featherweight title against Megan Anderson next, as well as welcoming her first child with Nina Ansaroff, it could be some time before Nunes returns to bantamweight anyway.
“I’m still the number one,” de Randamie said. “(Holly Holm) has to face me before (she) faces Amanda Nunes.
“I’m the No. 1 contender. Let Amanda Nunes enjoy her family. You’ve got to face me.”
Earlier on the card in Abu Dhabi, Australian featherweight Joshua Culibao was dealt a questionable split draw against highly touted Canadian Charles Jourdain, with some surprising scorecards being turned in by the judges.
Culibao, making his first UFC appearance in his regular weight class after debuting at lightweight, made a strong start to the bout, dropping Jourdain late in the first round. Culibao remained strong in the second, though Jourdain had more success of his own in what was the closest round of the fight.
In the third round, Culibao spent plenty of time on the mat but remained active in fending off submission attempts and fighting back to his feet. Ultimately the judges’ scorecards were required, and read 30-27 Jourdain, 29-28 Culibao and 28-28 – the latter judging the third round to be an 10-8 for Jourdain.
“I don’t know how the judges gave it 30-27 (for Jourdain). The first round I scored a knockdown and I did the majority of the damage. Yeah, he was on top, but he wasn’t doing shit,” Culibao said of the fight.
“Jourdain’s a stud. A lot of people said I didn’t belong to be in there with him. The guy’s a killer and to go to decision with him—it is what it is.”
Full UFC Fight Island 4 Results
Holly Holm beat Irene Aldana via unanimous decision
Carlos Felipe beat Yorgan de Castro via unanimous decision
Germain de Randamie beat Julianna Peña via third-round submission
Kyler Phillips beat Cameron Else via second-round TKO
Dusko Todorovic beat Dequan Townsend via second-round TKO
Carlos Condit beat Court McGee via unanimous decision
Joshua Culibao and Charles Jourdain fought to a split draw
Nassourdine Imavov beat Jordan Williams via unanimous decision
Loma Lookboonmee beat Jinh Yu Frey via unanimous decision
Casey Kenney beat Alateng Heili via unanimous decision
Luigi Vendramini beat Jessin Ayari via first-round TKO