In the highly anticipated matchup between Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm, many did not think that Holm would win with a high kick to Rousey’s neck. Rousey entered the fight without a single loss in her UFC career and, after winning several fights in under a minute, she was regarded as the greatest active UFC fighter. Holm, despite her extensive experience and reputation as a top fighter, was seen as the underdog coming into the fight. However, despite these prior standings, Holm topped the UFC giant in the second round of the fight.
In the past several years, Ronda Rousey became a household name for those interested in professional fighting. She dominated her opponents in all 12 of her fights, and won her last 4 fights in a total of less than 3 minutes. Rousey has had years of experience on both national and international levels that has shaped her in to the aggressive and tenacious tactician that she is today.
Holly Holm has also been known for her tendentious fighting, boasting a winning 9-0 mma record and a tremendous amount of experience. After beginning her professional kickboxing career in 2002, Holm gathered much experience through fighting a diverse array of opponents. She has continued to fight in many conditions, from kickboxing to boxing, and currently, in UFC’s mixed martial arts. Holm was named Female Fighter of the Year in 2005 and 2006 by Ring Magazine.
With over 10 years of experience, it was apparent that Holm was a worthy opponent for the MMA great.
The two fighters took very different approaches in their competitive attitudes.
Holm took a very humble yet confident approach when promoting the fight in televised shows. Rousey mentioned her cautious feelings against Holm in an interview with Jimmy Fallon just days before the fight.
In the pre-fight conference, the two seemed to be calm, until Holm, who is generally not an aggressor, put her fist in Rousey’s face.
The action has prompted Rousey to retaliate and to get riled up and proving her generally mild and humble nature to be a façade.
The fight in itself reflected the difference in attitudes of the two fighters. Rousey refused Holm’s offer to tap gloves as a means of respect before the fight. With animosity in the air, the fight started with Holm taking the lead early on. Rousey did not start with her usual aggressive and controlled attacks, but instead took a less aggressive and more pressure-focused approach against Holm. Holm, however, was able to control the close-combat strikes and escaped from Rousey’s infamous arm-bar. With a weak outing from Rousey in the first round, Holm took the lead. Holm then caught Rousey unguarded and struck with a high kick to the neck, resulting in Rousey falling and becoming unable to retaliate. Seconds after Rousey’s fall on the mat, Holms was declared the new ___ world champion.
The win for Holm has greatly boosted her image in recent days and has casted her as one of the visiable and recognizable faces of UFC fighters of any gender. Days after the fight, Holm defended Rousey, stating that despite the loss, her legacy will not be diminished. Holm was already a well-respected fighter, and this will most certainly continue to hold her at a high esteem by fellow UFC fighters and fans. Rousey is still the best of the active UFC fighters by far, but with this loss, she will have to change her in-fight traditional arm bar strategy in order to become more diverse in her attacks. Despite the loss, fans and fighters alike have not seen the last of her in the ring . The day after her loss, she thanked her fans and, while it may take her a little bit of time, she wrote, “I’ll be back.” It is fair to say that while Rousey works on her upcoming movie, the world will be watching eagerly as she aims to return as a top contender against Holm and other rising UFC fighters.
-Bar Hass ’16, Senior Sports Editor