Holly Holm stuns Rousey to become new UFC champ


Posted at Nov 15 2015 02:03 PM | Updated as of Nov 16 2015 01:24 PM

(UPDATE 2) Holly Holm put on the performance of a lifetime to dominate and eventually knock out the erstwhile unbeaten "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey in the main event of UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia.

Holm, a massive underdog heading into the fight, stuck to her game plan, utilized her boxing skills, and used Rousey's aggressiveness to her advantage en route to becoming the new UFC women's bantamweight champion.

The end came in the second round, when Holm connected on a tremendous head kick that dropped Rousey to the ground. She followed it up with a series of shots, but the referee stepped in before she can do more damage.

The official time of stoppage was 59 seconds of round two.

"I'm trying to take it in, but it's crazy," said Holm, who burst into tears after her victory. "Getting in here, I had so much love and support. How can I not do this, with that much love?"

Holm, a former boxing champion who shifted to MMA in 2011, perfectly utilized her range in keeping the aggressive Rousey off balance, countering every time Rousey got too close.

She was in some trouble in the first round, when Rousey tried for a submission hold, but managed to recover and dominated the rest of the round by tagging "Rowdy" with shots to the face.

In the second round, Holm perfectly read a Rousey attack, ducking under a punch from the increasingly desperate champion. Moments later, Holm landed a huge punch that wobbled Rousey, followed it up with a perfectly placed left kick to the head, and Rousey went crashing to the canvas.

"Everything that we worked on presented itself in the fight," Holm said. "Everything we worked on happened tonight."

Rousey laid on the canvas for a while before Holm was formally announced as the winner. She was then taken to a local hospital, according to a report by ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.

Holm's MMA record improved to 10-0. She is the first fighter to ever beat Rousey, who dropped to 12-1 in her MMA career.

Rousey went into the bout as the most feared female prizefighter on the planet with a series of dynamic knockout victories that earned her comparisons to Mike Tyson's rise in heavyweight boxing during the 1980s.

Her previous three fights had lasted a combined 64 seconds, including a 34-second knockout of Bethe Correia in August. The UFC had ranked her as its No. 4 fighter, pound-for-pound.

Rousey and Holm both earned additional $50,000 for putting on the Fight of the Night, and Holm earned another $50,000 bonus after claiming Performance of the Night honors.

In the co-main event, Joanna Jedrzejczyk remained the UFC strawweight champion after a hard-fought five-round victory over tough contender Valerie Letourneau.

Jedrzejczyk took control of the fight in the second round, using leg kicks to wear down her opponent. Her output increased in the third and fourth, and by the fifth round, Letourneau was clearly having trouble maintaining her attack.

Jedrzejczyk won with scores of 49-46, 49-46, and 50-45.

Meanwhile, Mark Hunt knocked out Antonio "Big Foot" Silva in the undercard to win their rematch. -- With Agence France-Presse

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