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UFC on ESPN 16’s Germaine de Randamie wants respect without being a jerk about it

ABU DHABI – Germaine de Randamie understands how the game is played in the UFC: The more brash and obnoxious you are, the more the promotion will reward you, so long as you get the job done in the cage.

De Randamie (10-4 MMA, 7-2 UFC) has experienced plenty of octagon success as the inaugural UFC women’s featherweight champion and as a perennial top contender at bantamweight. But she doesn’t feel like she’s gotten the respect that should come with her career accomplishments.

And while she’s not going to start acting like Colby Covington to get attention, after choking out Julianna Pena for a technical submission in the third round of their UFC on ESPN 16 main-card bout Saturday night, GDR says it’s time to take a little of what’s hers.

“I believe, honestly, that I have not gotten the respect that I believe I deserve,” de Randamie told MMA Junkie at the post-fight news conference.  “I have made history in my career a couple times – a lot of couple times. I really did not get the respect, and I’ve seen in the past if you’re a jerk, you get the respect in the UFC. I don’t want to be a jerk. I want to stay true to myself. But I believe I deserve a little more respect for all that I’ve done in my career.

“I’m 36 years old, my full-time job – I train besides my full-time job being a police officer. I’m getting a little older, and it’s not easy and I deserve a little bit of credit for that.”

In the meantime, de Randamie, who earned a “Performance of the Night” bonus for her efforts, is basking in the glow of her first career submission victory.

“I felt a little bit tight, but no matter what, she gave me her neck in the second round. She went for the guillotine,” de Randamie said. “I think she lost a lot of air by doing that, and it wasn’t tight. I’ve learned some lessons, and she gave me her neck. I told my coaches, ‘If she gives me her neck, I’m going to put her to sleep,’ and I felt her going out. I told (referee Jason) Herzog, ‘She’s out. She’s out,’ and she fell and I won.

That gave the Dutch kickboxer six wins in her past seven fights and served as a solid bounce-back after coming up short in a bid for Amanda Nunes’ bantamweight title her last time out. What next? GDR says she simply wants to put on entertaining fights, whether or not the gold is on the line.

“I really don’t know, and I could (not) care less, to be honest,” she said. “Don’t get me wrong: I just love to fight. I just want to put up the entertaining fight. No boring fight. Give me an entertaining fight, even if it’s a title shot or not. Just give me an entertaining fight, because I’m here as an entertainer. A belt is cool. You know how many belts I have? I think a dozen. I have to clean that (expletive). Seriously. I don’t like dust.”

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