Holm si­lences Rousey in stun­ning KO win

One of the sport’s big­gest up­sets

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

MEL­BOURNE: Ronda Rousey was the UFC’s un­stop­pable force un­til Holly Holm used the for­mer cham­pion’s ag­gres­sion against her to pro­duce one of the sport’s big­gest up­sets. Rousey chased Holm around the ring at UFC 193 yes­ter­day - look­ing for the right hold and tak­ing head shots along the way - un­til Holm saw an open­ing 59 sec­onds into the sec­ond round and snapped a kick to the head that im­me­di­ately dropped her more fan­cied op­po­nent to the can­vas.

Holm (10-0) jumped on the prone Rousey, de­liv­er­ing sev­eral blows to her head be­fore the ref­eree in­ter­vened, end­ing Rousey’s 12fight un­beaten run and hand­ing Holm the ban­tamweight ti­tle.

As an ec­static Holm jumped around the ring, Rousey stayed on the can­vas as she re­ceived med­i­cal treat­ment amid the roar of a stunned, record UFC crowd. “She’s won a lot of fights and im­posed her will on a lot of fight­ers,” Holm said. “So ex­pect her to be ag­gres­sive and im­pose her will on me.

“She had me on the cage for a minute and ob­vi­ously she was try­ing for a take down right there ... she had a lot of things she was try­ing so I’m just glad I put in the prac­tice,” she added.

Rousey, a for­mer judo Olympian, was un­beaten through 12 UFC fights be­fore meet­ing Holm, and a win would have been her sev­enth ti­tle de­fense. In­stead, Holm, a 34-year-old vet­eran fe­male boxer from Al­bu­querque, New Mex­ico, has the cham­pi­onship belt. “We fig­ured her ag­gres­sion was com­ing, if it didn’t that’s OK, but with foot­work and my ca­reer we fig­ured she wouldn’t give me that space,” Holm said. “There’s been a lot of blood, sweat and tears but it was all worth it.”

Fa­cial cuts

Rousey left the sta­dium to re­ceive treat­ment for fa­cial cuts at a nearby hos­pi­tal af­ter the loss and skipped the post-fight me­dia con­fer­ence. UFC chief Dana White said a re­match be­tween Holm and Rousey made “a lot of sense” and would put other po­ten­tial matchups on the back­burner.

“Ob­vi­ously we don’t make fights the night of the fight, but the re­match makes a lot of sense,” he said. “The re­match is what the peo­ple want to see.” In the other ti­tle bout, a blood­ied Joanna Je­drze­jczyk out­lasted Va­lerie Le­tourneau to suc­cess­fully de­fend her straw-weight belt in a five-round slugfest.

Je­drze­jczyk (11-0) won a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion over Le­tourneau (8-4) who of­fered the cham­pion one of her tougher fights in some time. Je­drze­jczyk, a six-time Muay Thai world cham­pion, built the pres­sure from the sec­ond round with some trade­mark, light­ningquick com­bi­na­tions to Le­tourneau’s head, while forc­ing the chal­lenger to keep her dis­tance with some ef­fec­tive kicks.

Or­ga­niz­ers an­nounced a crowd of 56,214 at Mel­bourne’s Eti­had Sta­dium, which nor­mally hosts Aus­tralian rules foot­ball matches. The mark eclipsed the 55,724 fans who at­tended UFC 129 at Toronto’s Rogers Cen­tre in 2011.

Scari­est mo­ments

Rousey, 28, has taken UFC by storm since her de­but in 2012 and her suc­cess has led to sev­eral movie projects as well the pub­lish­ing of her au­to­bi­og­ra­phy. But it was Holm’s calm con­fi­dence and the man­ner of her win that at­tracted all the at­ten­tion yes­ter­day.

“Tonight was one of those mo­ments,” White said. “Th­ese are the mo­ments in fight­ing that make it so crazy and so fun. Tonight was one of those mo­ments.” Holm, a for­mer undis­puted wel­ter­weight box­ing cham­pion, said the mo­ment of her UFC ti­tle vic­tory was “one of those mo­ments that you live for.”

“They’re the scari­est mo­ments. This fight was a lot for me mentally,” she added. “I couldn’t tell you tell you how many times I cried in the gym lead­ing up to this fight. “It’s a lot to take in, but those kinds of fights are the ones where a loss is dev­as­tat­ing but a win is that sweet of a vic­tory.”

White said that while most on­look­ers were shocked by Rousey’s loss, he was not one of them. “At the end of the day I made this fight. I said this was a good fight,” he said. “Holly was the right fight. Ronda had never faced any­body who uses the range and dis­tance the way she does. “This woman has four times more fights than Ronda does. She’s been a world cham­pion,” he said.

In other fights on the un­der­card, Mark Hunt of New Zealand (11-10-1) won his re­match with Brazil’s An­to­nio Silva (19-8) by tech­ni­cal knock­out af­ter the ref­eree stopped the fea­ture heavy­weight bout in the first round.

New Zealand-born Aus­tralian mid­dleweight Robert Whittaker (16-4) earned a gutsy win on points over Uriah Hall (13-6), while Jared Rosholt (14-2) won a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion of tow­er­ing Dutch­man Ste­fan Struve (30-8) in a scrappy open­ing heavy­weight bout of the main card. — AP

— AFP

MEL­BOURNE: Holly Holm of the US (R) lands a kick to the neck to knock out com­pa­triot Ronda Rousey and win the UFC ti­tle fight in Mel­bourne yes­ter­day.

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