On Saturday evening there was an Ultimate Fighting Championships Pay-Per-View show aired worldwide from Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, Australia before a record crowd of 56,214 with a record gate of $9.53 million AUD. The headliner on this show, the 28 year-old Roudy Ronda Rousey (12-0) was this massive 7-1 betting favorite. Naturally, being this global superstar of MMA with a face and body that’s been plastered all over Magazine covers, TV, the Movies and even featured in an upcoming EA UFC 2 video game, you would expect such adoration. That made her lesser known opponent, the 34 year-old Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm with a record of (9-0) in MMA, and a record of (33-2-3, 9 KOs) as a Professional Boxer, this huge underdog.
For all of a round and a half, Holm, the boxer, dominated and over and over again either kicked or smashed her opponent in the face, neck or leg until she eventually had the red faced Rousey unconscious on the canvas to win the coveted UFC bantamweight championship.
Holm dominated the first round by landing the hard punches and eluding any retaliation. It was like watching a first timer who arrogantly comes into an old school boxing gym and asks one of the trainers if he can spar the best boxer in the gym. Holm’s footwork to escape any retribution was textbook. Her weapon of choice was the straight left hands from the southpaw stance, while Rousey, unaccustomed to fighting lefties kept walking right into the punches. Watching Rousey get knocked down so many times made her look pedestrian at best.
After just one round, Rousey was breathing hard and looked tired in her corner. Instead of pacing herself, Rousey continued to be the one mounting the attack which at times looked desperate.
The more focused Holm, took full advantage of Rousey’s recklessness, and hurt her over and over until this one roundhouse, high kick sent Rousey down on the canvas at which time Holm pounced on her and began to hammer fist the right side of Rousey’s head. Luckily for Rousey, veteran referee Herb Dean was right there to quickly stop the carnage, and save Rousey from what could have been untold permanent damage.
With the win, Holm, 35, becomes the first person to become a world champion in both boxing and mixed martial arts. She didn’t slip by with a decision win over Rousey, she thoroughly beat her up and knocked her out cold. With her head being pounded twice while lying their almost motionless, we’re hoping Ms. Rousey will be alright.
After the fight, the UFC President Dana White gave us his thoughts: “Ronda had never fought anyone with that type of style of using the range and distance that Holly did. This woman had four times as many fights as Ronda and apparently the Holm people did come up with the perfect game plan. In retrospect, Ronda should have gone more to the clinch, try to double leg her, taking her down more to use her grappling skills. Rousey’s remarkable reign is over. Now, perhaps it’s time to slow down a bit. The Rousey Revolution hasn’t stopped, it has simply turned the page to a new and very fascinating chapter.”
White would not speculate specifically, but he did concede a Holm versus Rousey rematch is inevitable and since UFC 200 is set for July 9, 2016 in Las Vegas at the city’s sparkling new arena, Rousey’s crack at revenge would seem perfectly timed for that date.
Now that MMA has been exposed as not the end all, be all in the fighting sports, and Rousey’s “remarkable reign” is over, perhaps she should have to prove herself worthy by defeating a boxer. How about the 34 year-old Cecilia Braekhus, the reigning welterweight champ or if she wants to fight smaller and lighter ladies, how about the 35 year-old, 5’3” Jackie Nava of Tijuana, the 30 year-old Delfine Persoon of Belgium or the 31 year-old Erica Anabella Farias of Argentina.
At the post fight Press Conference, UFC President Dana White seemed quite defensive about the questioning of Holm’s pugilistic skills which helped her defeat Rousey. “People that are negative about our sport, are uneducated about our sport and I don’t know if I was a boxer that I’d be running over here too quick.” One thing is for sure, Rousey, with her concussion and split lip needs a better striking coach or is that the same thing as a boxing coach?