UFC Fight Night results, highlights: Holly Holm TKOs Bethe Correia in third round
Former champion Holm used a vicious head kick to score much-needed victory in Singapore
Talk about a much-needed victory.
Former UFC champion Holly Holm snapped a three-fight losing skid on Saturday with a third-round knockout of Bethe Correia in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Kallang, Singapore.
The pair of women's bantamweight contenders were incredibly tentative in the opening rounds and combined for just nine total strikes landed in the opening five minutes. But things heated up in the third round, where Holm (11-3) took advantage of the favorable style matchup by exposing Correia's tendency for reckless aggression.
Correia (10-3-1), a native of Brazil and former title challenger, was much more aggressive to open the final round and began taunting Holm to break out of her defensive pose and come forward. Holm did just that, catching Correia with a left kick to the side of the head that instantly sat her down.
Holm immediately landed a left hand to the face before referee Marc Goddard stopped the bout at 1:09 of the round.
"This fight, I knew that [Correia] could make it look messy and I know I heard a lot of boos from the first round," Holm said. "But what I wanted to do was make it look as clean as I could. She can make a messy fight. That was the goal, that was the plan, bait her into something and make a clean shot."
Holm, 35, a former decorated boxing champion, scored her first UFC victory since November 2015, when she upset Ronda Rousey, handing the former champion her first pro defeat. She became an instant star from that point, yet has been unable to build any momentum.
Five months after the Rousey win, Holm lost her title in dramatic fashion to Meisha Tate at UFC 196. A competitive decision defeat to Valentina Shevchenko followed before Holm suffered her third straight loss in February, via boring decision to Germaine de Randamie for the inaugural UFC women's featherweight championship.
"There are so many people that have supported me through the three losses," Holm said. "My team that flies halfway across the world for me and my coaches at home. I send all my love to my family, my husband, everybody that's been supporting me through all this time and I just feel like I want to do it for them. This fight was for them."
Holm remains a difficult out at 135 pounds because of her size, footwork and technical prowess as a counter striker. She never became a complete fighter, however, making it difficult to imagine she'll ever return to level of prominence she captured by defeating Rousey.
Either way, the victory was an incredibly important one for Holm, as it was for the UFC's future in using her in big fights.
Correia, 33, fell to 1-3-1 since 2014, in a slide that began with her first-round knockout loss to then-champion Ronda Rousey in 2015.
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