Holly Holm hasn’t had much luck since taking Ronda Rousey’s head off with a massive kick back in 2015. Since then the former boxing champion went 0-3, losing her belt to Miesha Tate via submission before dropping two decisions, one of them for the 145 pound women’s featherweight belt. The goal was to turn things around against another opponent of Ronda Rousey’s, aggressive striker Bethe Correia.
And turn it around she did, playing a patient game until she was able to catch Correia with a head kick, knocking her senseless and forcing the ref to stop the fight halfway through the third round.
Holm came into the fight cautious, keeping a good distance from Correia and using her movement to stay on the outside out of the range of the Brazilian brawler’s strikes. For her part, Correia refused to chase Holm and open herself up to counters, leading to a tentative first round. The best strike came with a minute and a half left when Holm landed one of her heavy head kicks upside Bethe’s skull.
The biggest event to happen in the second round was referee Marc Goddard stopping the fight to warn the two women to engage. “I respect the game plan,” he said. “But you have to make something happen.” While the command was followed with slightly more daring in and out striking attacks from both women, the fight soon slipped back into distance fighting until Bethe Correia tied up Holm momentarily the end of the round.
And then it happened: in round three, Holm hit one of her patented Rousey killing head kicks, and it took Correia out in the same way, dropping her to the canvas where the ref jumped in to stop the fight. It was a patient approach that payed off big … we have a feeling the crowd in the building or fans on the internet would not have been impressed with a decision win, but the big knockout erased all the displeasure getting thrown around earlier in the fight and all of a sudden Holm is back in the mix at 135 pounds.
In other fights:
Marcin Tybura def. Andrei Arlovski by Decision (Unanimous, 29-28, 28-27, 29-27) (see more on that here)
Colby Covington def. Dong Hyun Kim by Decision (Unanimous 30-25, 30-27, 30-27)
Rafael dos Anjos def Tarec Saffiedine by decision (Unanimous, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Jon Tuck def. Takanori Gomi by Submission (Rear Naked Choke), R1 1:12
Walt Harris def. Cyril Asker by TKO (Punches), R1
Alex Caceres def Rolando Dy by TKO (Doctor’s stoppage), R2.
Ulka Sasaki def. Justin Scoggins by Submission (Rear Naked Choke), R2
Li Jingliang def. Frank Camacho by Decision (Unanimous, 29-27, 28-27, 29-27)
Russell Doane def. Kwan Ho Kwak by TKO (Punches), R1 4:01.
Naoki Inoue def. CJ De Tomas by Decision (Unanimous 30-26 x3)
Lucie Pudilova def Ji Yeon Kim by Unanimous Decision (29-28)