Holm faced Germaine de Randamie at UFC 208 for the inaugural women's featherweight championship on February 11, 2017. She lost the fight via controversial unanimous decision. At the end of the second and third rounds, de Randamie continued to throw punches after the horn had sounded and the referee stepped in, the first of which was a right hand that visibly wobbled Holm, who had already stopped fighting. The referee did not take a point on either occasion, which crucially affected the result of the fight.  14 of 23 media outlets and a majority of mma fans still scored the fight in favor of Holm.  Holm said post-fight she believed both instances to be intentional.  She appealed to the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) to review the referee's decisions and determine an "appropriate result".  On February 28, the NYSAC denied the appeal, finding "no clear error or violation of statute or rule". 
Letourneau has been in there with some of the sport's best fighters at both 115 and 135 pounds, and most notably put her toughness on display in a five-round loss to Jedrzejczyk at UFC 193. According to FightMetric, Letourneau absorbed 220 significant strikes from the champ, including 70 leg kicks, and developed massive swelling under her right eye and legs. Still, the Canadian fought and threw punches until the very end despite being down on the cards. She came into that fight a heavy underdog, but her will and determination to see the bout to the end impressed many in defeat.