It is as big an upset as when Douglas knocked out Tyson.
Okay, maybe it’s not quite that shocking, but Holly Holm’s defeat of the apparently indestructible defending champion Ronda Rousey on Sunday (Nov. 14) to win the women’s Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight trophy is certainly stunning.
The weird thing is that Rousey seemingly predicted what would happen in an interview with Jimmy Fallon last month. She even foreshadowed how Holm might knock her out. “This one is gonna be a much longer fight,” she said. “[She] is the biggest threat to me.”
Prior to the fight in Melbourne, Rousey had been destroying opponents. Her last three fights lasted 34, 14 and 16 seconds respectively. All knockouts.
But in the second round on Sunday, a combination of a left hit to the head by Holm followed by a kick knocked Rousey out cold. After the fight, Rousey reportedly had to be taken to hospital for precautionary reasons.
Holm’s victory is an upset. No one can argue that she got lucky—she came into the fight with a perfect record, 10-0. But Rousey was still the overwhelming favorite. Holm, however, executed her game plan to perfection. Rousey’s style of coming out of the gate flying may have worked against her in this fight. Plus, her dominance in previous fights didn’t prepare her for a longer fight. Holm took full of advantage.
While her invicibility may be gone, Rousey will have a chance to win her title back soon. Reportedly, a rematch is on the cards. In fact, the bookies have her as a favorite should that fight go ahead.
And Sunday’s result is good for women’s UFC and the future of mixed martial arts as a sport. Rousey’s complete dominance in the sport was starting to get boring. The rise of Holm and her developing rivalry with Rousey is going to be compelling to watch.