Holly Holm shocked the world by upsetting superstar Ronda Rousey with a second round knock out on Saturday night in Melbourne. Rousey, a judo-based fighter, could not get Holm down and lost her UFC title to the former pro boxer.
Holm landed the first blows of the fight, circling away from the advancing Rousey and catching her coming in. But Rousey caught her with a big right hand a minute later and then forced a clinch. Holm escaped and caught Rousey with a kick. Rousey clinched a second time, got Holm down and moved for her patented arm bar but Holm escaped. Holm then began to catch Rousey with straight punches that bloodied the champ. Holm then shocked everyone by getting a take down of her own. Rousey walked back to her corner after the first round bloodied and breathing hard.
In the second Holm came out and finished Rousey with a series of sharp punches and a headkick that dropped Rousey. She followed Rousey down and finished it with hammer fists.
Tonight marked only the third time the UFC has put together a card big enough to fill a stadium. Australian fans filled up Melbourne's Etihad Stadium to see a card headlined by two women's fights. Pent-up demand in Melbourne, long a hot bed of MMA fans in a part of Australia that has only recently legalized cage fights, played a role in the success of the event, but the unprecedented popularity of Rousey unquestionably contributed to the event's success.
Women's strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejcyk entered UFC 193 as a prohibitive favorite over Canadian Valerie Letourneau, but the fight was much closer than anyone expected. Letourneau got Jedrzejcyk down in the first and for the first two minutes it looked like she might shock the world. Then they stood up and Jedrzejcyk landed a brutal straight front kick to Letourneau's throat. From there it was a war of attrition and the champ slowly took over the fight. Jedrzejcyk took home a unanimous decision after five brutal rounds.
Heavyweight Mark Hunt made short work of rival Antonio "Big Foot" Silva with a first round knock out. Hunt finished Silva with a savage right hand that dropped the natural 300-pounder. The two fought to a draw two years ago in one of the most brutal fights in MMA history. The sequel was just an weak echo of the incredible original bout.
Australian middleweight Robert Whittaker came out aggressive against the American Uriah Hall and sailed to a unanimous decision win after three hard fought rounds. Despite getting bloodied up by Hall's slick striking, Whittaker kept pressing forward and hurt Hall repeatedly with sharp punches.
Heavyweights Jared Rosholt and Stefan Struve nearly put the crowd to sleep with three fairly uneventful rounds to open the pay per view. Struve couldn't stop Rosholt's take downs and Rosholt did little more than sit on top of him and hold him down.
Lightweight Jake Matthews survived a very rough first round against Akbarh Arreola to get a TKO stoppage due to a cut after the second round. Arreola caught Matthews with a head kick and some brutal punches but couldn't put the young Australian away. Matthews came back in the second round, took Arreola down and camped out in his guard. Pounding away with punches. The cageside doctor did the rest after the round ended.
Kyle Noke gave the Australian fans something to cheer for when he dropped Germany's Peter Sobotta with a brutal kick to the gut. The Aussie followed Sobotta down and pounded him with hammer fists for the first round finish.
Long Island's Gian Villante made his long flight to Melbourne worthwhile with a brutal first round knock out of Australian favorite Anthony Perosh. Light heavyweight Perosh was outmatched from the get-go and had no answer for Villante's power. Villante ended the bout with a walk-off home run off of Perosh's chin that sent "The Hippo" diving face first into the Octagon canvas.
Flyweight Danny Martinez opened the Fox Sports 1 prelims with a unanimous decision win over Richie Vaculik. Martinez landed some wild punches and dominated the take down battle to get the judges' nod.
Australian judoka Daniel Kelly made the most of his take down skills en route to a unanimous decision win over Steve Montgomery. Kelly was able to hip toss Montgomery in the first and trip him in the third and once he had the American down he implemented an effective ground and pound game. Montgomery's considerable advantages standing made the second round a long, hard slog for Kelly, but the Aussie ate a ton of uppercuts and hooks and managed to survive the round.
In a battle of welterweight Aussies, Richard Walsh parlayed his advantages on the feet into a unanimous decision win over Steve Kennedy despite being out-grappled when the fight went to the ground. Unfortunately for Kennedy, most of the fight happened on the feet and he had no answer for Walsh's leg kicks.
Taekwondo specialist James Moontasri got to show off some technique in a first round TKO win over late substitute Anton Zafir. Moontasri survived being taken down early and once he got back on his feet quickly scored with a vicious spinning back kick to Zafir's liver followed by a back-forearm to the face.
In the opening fight of the night South Dakota's Ben Nguyen dominated Texan Ryan Benoit. Nguyen dropped Benoit with a combination of strikes and quickly took his back on the ground for the rear naked choke submission win.
Complete UFC 193 Results
Women's bantamweight: Holly Holm def. Ronda Rousey via KO (kick & punches) at 0:59 of Round 2.
Women's strawweight: Joanna Jedrzejcyk def. Valerie Letourneau via unanimous decision (49-46x2, 50-45).
Heavyweight: Mark Hunt def. Antonio Silva via KO (punches) at 3:41 of Round 1.
Middleweight: Robert Whittaker def. Uriah Hall via unanimous decision (30-27x2, 29-28).
Heavyweight: Jared Rosholt def. Stefan Struve via unanimous decision (29-28x3).
Fox Sports 1 Prelims
Welterweight: Kyle Noke def. Peter Sobotta via TKO (body kick and punches) at 2:01 of Round 1.
Light Heavyweight: Gian Villante def. Anthony Perosh via KO (punch) at 2:56 of Round 1.
Flyweight: Danny Martinez def. Richie Vaculik via unanimous decision (30-27x3).
Fight Pass Prelims
Middleweight: Daniel Kelly def. Steve Montgomery via UD (29-28x3).
Welterweight: Richard Walsh def. Steve Kennedy via UD (30-27x2, 29-28).
Welterweight: James Moontasri def. Anton Zafir via TKO (body kick & punches) at 4:36 of Round 1.
Flyweight: Ben Nguyen def. Ryan Benoit via sub (rear naked choke) at 2:35 of Round 1.