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UFC 193 Holly Holm stuns Ronda Rousey with 2nd round knock out

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UFC 193 takes place Saturday night in the United States, emanating from Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. The event is expected to draw over 50,000 fans and set the UFC’s live attendance record. Headlining the event is the undefeated UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey defending her title against undefeated former boxing world champion Holly Holm. Rousey has become the sport’s biggest star and a breakthrough mainstream celebrity. In the co-feature, the other UFC women’s champion, strawweight queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk defends her title against Valerie Letourneau. Rousey and Jedrzejczyk are heavy betting favorites.

Rousey’s story is well known at this point, an Olympic bronze medalist in judo who is 12-0 in MMA with 11 first round stoppages and 1 third round stoppage. Her striking has improved greatly but her ground game and armbar remains her bread and butter. Holm was a world champion boxer who has won all her MMA fights. She hasn’t looked great in the UFC thus far, however, and her ground game is a question mark against such a high level opponent.

Round 1. Rousey comes in swinging wildly with punches. Holm circles from the outside and connnects with a hard combination includes a straight punch to the jaw. Rousey clinches a minute and 20 seconds in. Holm brushes off the clinch and lands a few hard punches. Rousey is bleeding from the nose. Rousey gets a clinch and takes Holm down, but she can’t get the armbar. Holm backs off and lands a big punch as they return to the feet. Rousey continues to look to close distance with Holm landing shots as she moves in. Holm is pounding Rousey with shots. Rousey hurts Holm with a hook. Holm is forced to clinch and takes Rousey down. Holm then backs off and stands up. Rousey charges in wildly in desperation. They clinch and exchange knees to the body. 10-9 Holm.

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Round 2. Rousey dives in and gets caught with a couple of counter punches. Holm is a different level of striker. Holly Holm with a head kick that knocks Rousey out.

Winner: Holly Holm, KO, round 2.

That was one of the biggest upsets in MMA history. Holm when she entered MMA was thought to be a big challenge to anyone because of her boxing background and because she was knocking opponents out with head kicks. Her first two UFC fights were struggles even in victory and people backed off from that optimism even as she remained unbeaten. This fight affirmed those original hopes as Holm demonstrated all her skill and athleticism.

For Rousey, it was a bad weekend. She came off as a bad sportswoman insulting and refusing to touch gloves with the even tempered and good natured Holm and then fought a wild, dangerous fight that didn’t show sufficient respect for her opponent’s ability.

For UFC, it’s likely a big victory. Rousey’s star is already so high and it sets up what will be a massive money rematch, perhaps at UFC 200 next year.

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