SINGAPORE: Mixed martial arts (MMA) star Holly Holm won on Saturday (June 17) the headlining bout of an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) show held at the Indoor Stadium.
The American scored a brutal head kick knockout of Brazilian Bethe Correia a minute into the third round, bringing an end to a three-fight losing streak since she knocked out celebrity Ronda Rousey in 2015 to be crowned bantamweight (61kg) champion.
Holm, 35, was her usual tentative self in the first two rounds and with the crowd registering its displeasure with loud jeering throughout, referee Marc Goddard even had to pause the inaction to remind the fighters to engage.
But, come the third stanza, former boxing world champion Holm came alive and unleashed her patented left high kick - the same one which ended Rousey - right to the head of Correia, who dropped like a stone. Goddard wasted no time rushing in to stop the fight and give Holm her 11th win alongside three losses. Correia meanwhile drops to 10 wins and three losses.
Earlier, another former title-holder in Brazil’s Rafael dos Anjos kicked off the main card with a dominant decision victory in his welterweight (77kg) debut against Belgian Tarec Saffiedine.
Moving up from the lightweight division where he was once king, dos Anjos seemed significantly outsized by his hard-kicking karateka opponent. Yet it was he who dictated the pace throughout, holding court in the centre of the Octagon and inflicting damage.
The striking masterclass put on by dos Anjos means he now holds a record of 26 wins and nine losses while Saffiedine falls to 16 wins and seven losses.
The co-main event of the night also saw former heavyweight (120kg) champion Andrei Arlovski extend his losing skid to five fights after dropping a decision to Poland’s Marcin Tybura. A 38-year-old veteran hailing from Belarus, Arlovski could find no way past his opponent's stifling ground control and his record now stands at 25 wins and 15 losses. Tybura, on the other hand, goes to 16 wins and two losses.