Former Ronda Rousey slayer and women’s Bantamweight champion, Holly Holm, was back in action tonight (Sat., Jan., 18, 2020), helming UFC 246’s pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, opposite Raquel Pennington.
Holm and Pennington first collided five years ago, with “Preacher’s Daughter” eking out a split decision win, which ultimately put the former boxing champion on the road to a UFC title. Pennington, meanwhile, racked up five wins in seven appearances (Holm’s record is actually the opposite ... albeit against much stiffer competition) since their initial encounter, creeping into the division’s rankings (No. 5).
It wasn’t pretty, at all, but in the end Holm once again walked away victorious over “Rocky.”
Pennington came out looking to land a low kick, but a jacked up Holm stepped aside and fired off a Superman punch that missed its mark. One minute in and Pennington landed a straight right hand down the middle, while Holm continued to circle and look for an opening. Holm charged in with a combination, but nothing of consequence landed. Pennington tried the same thing moments later ... and with the same results. Holm pressed her up against the cage and delivered some dirty boxing in the tie up, as Pennington tried to spin free with knees to the body. The two jockeyed for position for some time, with Pennington eventually reversing position only for Holm to put her right back. Pennington finally spun away with literally seconds remaining in the round and attempted a takedown of her own before the bell sounded.
Pennington came out with more purpose in the second stanza, charging forward looking to land something ... anything. Holm eventually opted for another tie up along the fence, landing more short shots much to the chagrin of the restless crowd. Pennington finally started to score with some Muay Thai knees to the body, which Holm really didn’t enjoy, disengaging and going back to the stand up before re-clinching again along the cage. Pennington tried to salvage the round late with another takedown attempt, but once again it was way too little, way too late.
Most likely down on the judges scorecards, Pennington needed a lopsided round — or a finish — to win the rematch. She landed a nice jab-uppercut combination early, but Holm was unaffected. The pair traded insignificant shots until about the three-minute mark, which is when Holm went back to the clinch along the cage. With one minute remaining in the 15-minute bout, the referee finally intervened and pulled them apart. But, Holm just coasted to a very safe and crowd-displeasing decision.
Believe it or not, despite just three wins in eight appearances since 2016, Holm is once again in the title mix, which would be her fourth opportunity (albeit across two weight classes) to capture another belt.
The more things don’t change in the women’s Bantamweight division, the more they stay the same in 2020.
For complete UFC 246 results, including play-by-play updates from last night, click here. To check out the latest and greatest UFC 246: “McGregor vs. Cerrone” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.