Who is Holly Holm? The UFC fighter who knocked Ronda Rousey the eff out

Who is Holly Holm? The UFC fighter who knocked Ronda Rousey the eff out


Holly_HolmHolly Holm was a massive underdog in her fight against UFC Bantamweight Champ Ronda Rousey, and for good reason. Rousey, 12-0 going into UFC 193, had only been stretched beyond one round once in her MMA career. Nothing against Holm, a world-champion boxer and kickboxer who was undefeated in UFC coming in, but she isn’t Ronda Rousey, who had won her last three title defenses in a combined 64 seconds.

It was Holm, surprisingly, who dominated, first by setting the tone, not taking the approach of previous Rousey opponents, who tried to take the fight to the champ, but by sitting back and using Rousey’s aggressiveness against her.

So used to pouncing on opponents and winning in quick fashion, Rousey started chasing Holm around the ring, failing to establish ring generalship, ceding that territory to Holm, who countered with surgical strikes to Rousey that opened up a cut on the champ’s nose in the first 90 seconds.

That was the way things went for most of the first round, before Rousey seemed to realize that her game isn’t standup, but ground and pound, and went in twice for single legs that Holm was able to defend.

You could see after the second failed single leg that Rousey was feeling the pressure. She was getting beaten to the punch, and she wasn’t able to out-grapple Holm.

Holm clearly won the first round, and looking back on it now, that was the fight.

Rousey was clumsy in Round 2, continuing to chase Holm around the ring, flailing wild punches that didn’t connect, and opening herself up to more counters.

The coup de grace was another wild roundhouse from Rousey that Holm countered with a straight right, which turned Rousey almost completely around and set up the knockout blow, a roundhouse kick from Holm that sent Rousey to the canvas, stunned, and Holm finished the job with a pair of punches against a defenseless Rousey that forced referee Herb Dean to call it off.

Holm dominated Rousey in an upset reminiscent of Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson for the heavyweight boxing title in 1990.

As in that one, the underdog won with strategy and execution to demythologize the reputation of a champ known as the baddest person on the planet.

Buster Douglas turned out to be a fluke. Whether Holly Holm turns out to be a fluke will come down to the expected Holm-Rousey rematch.

Holm may very well go into that one as an underdog, but it won’t be because she should be. She’s the better fighter, if only based on her performance tonight.

– Column by Chris Graham



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