Two of the baddest women on the planet — women’s Featherweight champion Cris Cyborg and former 135-pound roost ruler Holly Holm — tonight (Sat., Dec. 30, 2017) closed out the fight season for the world’s leading mixed martial arts (MMA) league, going toe-to-toe in the pay-per-view (PPV) main event of UFC 219, which took place inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
And the two ladies ended it with a bang, blasting each other for 25 full minutes until Cyborg finally had her hand raised, earning a unanimous decision win over “The Preacher’s Daughter.”
Cyborg came out the aggressor, while Holm looked to circle and counterpunch. Cyborg tried to get the action started with a high kick, but Holm caught it and dumper her on the ground, drilling the Brazilian with a kick of her own as she crawled back to her feet. Holm landed a nice left cross, but Cyborg responded in kind. Cyborg continued to stalk the former professional boxer, allowing Holm to circle and shadow box as she looked to exploit an opening. Holm scored with a straight left, but Cyborg walked right through it. The pair traded shots as the round came to a close, with Cyborg timing a solid Superman punch at the buzzer.
Holm took a more aggressive approach to start the second stanza, firing off combinations as Cyborg look to counter with heavy pot shots. Some blood began to trickle from the nose of Cyborg as the crowd began to chant, “Holly! Holly! Holly!” Midway through the round Cyborg started to come alive, perhaps growing frustrated with her inability to put anything meaningful together thus far. Holm tied her up along the cage with one minute remaining in the round, but she was able to break away and land some solid kicks and punches to close out the round.
Between rounds the swelling under Holm’s left eye became apparent. Cyborg got things going with a solid knee to Holm’s belly before the two started to trade shots in the center of the Octagon. Cyborg landed a nice right hand, then a knee that appeared to hurt Holm. She responded with a right hand of her own, though, then a high kick as Cyborg continued to stalk her around the cage. Cyborg seemed to hone in as the round progressed, landing with more frequency and accuracy as the seconds ticked away. She ended with a flurry at the end of the round that included a Superman punch and several hard shots that wobbled Holm as she went back to her corner.
Holm’s face was a swollen mess to start the championship rounds. Cyborg, meanwhile, appeared to be settling in, landing a hard straight punch and a kick to the body to get things going. Moments later her right high kick found its mark, but it was just not enough on it to do significant damage. She continued to push a powerful pace, hunting Holm and landing the harder shots in each exchange. Holm kept busy, but there just wasn’t much behind her shots. And that was pretty much how the rest of the fight played out — Holm rushing in with combinations that either missed or didn’t have much on them, while Cyborg landed the harder, cleaner shots.
It was a fun fight — props to Holm for packing on 10 pounds to fight one of the scariest female fighters on the planet. And not only that, but she did what no other woman in mixed martial arts (MMA) had done to date, lasting five full rounds with the ferocious Brazilian. In the end, though, Cyborg was just too strong and too tough to take out. The only problem now? Who she fights next. And it wouldn’t be all too surprising if they run this one back sooner than later.