Amanda Nunes might have her next UFC bantamweight title contender.
Germaine de Randamie knocked out previously undefeated Aspen Ladd in just 16 seconds in the main event of UFC Sacramento on Saturday night at Golden 1 Center. De Randamie landed a straight hand that put Ladd down immediately and then followed up with punches on the ground.
The stoppage by referee Herb Dean was disputed by Ladd, and the fans booed the finish. Ladd is from nearby Folsom, California, about 24 miles from the arena. As Dean moved in to pull de Randamie off, Ladd appeared to recover and work to defend herself on the ground, if not attack.
“I hit her on the button, Herb Dean called it,” de Randamie said afterward. “I rocked her with the second shot. I understand it’s in Sacramento. … If you look at the shot, I dropped her. She didn’t know where she was at that moment. It was a good shot. I think it was a good stoppage.”
Ladd said she still had her druthers when Dean made the stoppage.
“He did what he thought was best,” Ladd said. “I felt fine, but I can’t judge these things.”
De Randamie (9-3) has won five straight. The Netherlands native has lost only once in the UFC, and it came in 2013 against Nunes, the women’s bantamweight and featherweight champion.
“The Iron Lady” is ranked No. 3 in ESPN’s MMA women’s bantamweight rankings. She was a slight underdog at plus-105.
Ladd (8-1) had won all three of her UFC fights up until this point and was creeping into title contention. The 24-year-old remains one of the top prospects in the UFC in any division. Ladd entered Saturday ranked No. 4 in ESPN’s MMA women’s bantamweight rankings.