By Niall Clarke
- Ronda Rousey suffers her first career loss via knockout against Holly Holm.
- The now former UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion was caught with a head kick in round two.
- Joanna Jedrzejczyk retains the UFC Women’s Strawweight title.
Melbourne Australia- Holly Holm stunned the world with a brutal second round head kick knockout to claim the UFC Women’s Bantamweight title and hand Ronda Rousey her first career loss.
*WARNING- GRAPHIC IMAGES*
Yes that is not a typo- Rousey has finally been beaten. ‘Rowdy’ was dominant and seemingly had not viable challenger in sight as she bulldozed every single fighter who stood in front of her. 12-0 heading into the fight and riding a wave of quick stoppages, the champion looked unstoppable.
Holm, a former professional ‘world champion’ boxer and kickboxer, was brought into the company to offer Rousey a contender- after all, the rest were being dispatched with so much ease it was becoming a joke.
The ‘Preacher’s Daughter’ however, flattered to deceive in her first two octagon appearances. The talented striker could not quite assert her authority in both fights, and despite extending her unbeaten record to 9-0, fans were left with more questions than answers.
Many felt that Holm had not done enough to earn a shot at the UFC Women’s Bantamweight title, but there was still enough intrigue to pack the Ethiad Stadium in Melbourne with 56,000 fans.
Rousey was up to her usual tricks pre fight, trash talking her opponent and refusing to touch gloves pre fight. Did that anger Holm? Who knows? But she certainly came out with bad intentions.
Rousey came out with her familiar bull rush, pressing her opponent and swinging punches wildly. But the champ soon found that she was facing another level of striker. Holm knew exactly what to do in this situation and circled around the outside, landing shots that busted Rousey’s nose.
The former Olympic bronze medallist then went to her bread and butter- the clinch. Rousey secured a take-down but could not do much with it as Holm showed her improved ground game to get the fight back in her element. Rousey continued to press and landed a hook that hurt the challenger who was then forced to surprisingly take the champion down.
Holm, clearly not wanting to get into a grappling contest, stood right back up and backed off. Rousey still had time to charge back in again and clinch, but she ate some knees for her troubles as round one came to a close.
It was undoubtedly the toughest round of the champion’s career. It is actually only the second time she has been forced into a second round in her career.
Bloody from the nose, Rousey looked to right the wrong of the opening round and immediately came charging out. However, Holm is a different level of striker that Rousey has ever faced and landed some counter strikes. A combination stunned the Champion, then a vicious head-kick landed and Rousey was OUT 59 seconds into the second round. One of the most dominant champions if UFC history was defeated, and in brutal fashion.
The MMA world watched in shock and awe. It was the biggest upset since Chris Weidman knocked out Anderson Silva to claim the Middleweight title.
A night to savour for the new UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion, who remains unbeaten 10 fights into her career. Holm thanked her team in the post-fight interview with UFC on FOX.
“I can’t even explain how blessed I am and how fortunate that I have such a great team that believes in me. You know, just walking out there… it’s us anyway. We’re the ones doing it. I’m the one that has to fight and they’re the ones that are giving me the advice and that’s what it comes down to. It doesn’t matter what odds are on paper or what’s happened before. It matters what happens that moment.”
For Rousey it is a trip to the emergency room after suffering a nasty split lip as a result of the knockout. There is little doubt that she will be offered an immediate rematch- a fight that would no doubt draw big pay per view numbers, but it is the former champion going to take the time away from the sport she has hinted at taking in the past?
With all the hype and eventual shocking fallout behind the main event, it must be said that there was another women’s title fight on the card.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk successfully defended her Strawweight championship against Valerie Letourneau with a unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45) victory.
The challenger made a good start to the fight with a nice takedown and solid clinch control. Jedrzejczyk however landed a big front kick that stunned Letourneau late in the opening round that changed the complexion of the fight.
The Pole then controlled the fight on the feet and out pointed her opponent en route to a unanimous decision victory. She is now 11-0 in her mixed martial arts career.
In a rematch of their classic five round draw two years ago, Mark Hunt made sure not to take the fight to a judge’s decision with a first round TKO victory over Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva.
It was a happy return to Australia for home favourite Robert Whittaker. The Aussie was originally stated to fight England’s Michael Bisping but injury forced the Brit out of the fight. Instead, Whittaker would defeat fellow Ultimate Fighter alumni Uriah Hall by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28). That was the Aussie’s fourth straight victory.
In the night’s opening bout, Jared Rosholt defeated the 6ft11 Stefan ‘skyscraper’ Struve by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) in an uninspiring fight.
But the night was all about one of the biggest upsets in Mixed Martial Arts history. Holm knockouts Rousey. It is still hardly believable, but it was certainly one of the greatest displays we have witnessed.
UFC 194 will take place on December 12th with Jose Aldo defending his UFC Featherweight title against Conor McGregor, and Chris Weidman defending his Middleweight title against Luke Rockhold.
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