The biggest stadium show in UFC history was host to one of the biggest upsets ever, as Holly Holm dethroned Ronda Rousey with a stirring second-round knockout in the main event of UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
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“I’m trying to take it in, but it’s crazy,” Holm told UFC announcer Joe Rogan.
“Getting in here, I had so much love and support. I felt like, how can I not do this with all that love. I had the best coaching, from standup to grappling to wrestling.”
Holm controlled the drawcard fight of UFC 193 from the outset, winning the first round clearly, before delivering the knockout blow early in the second.
It was a devastating kick to the head that ended Rousey’s fight, her first ever loss in UFC.
Holm could scarcely believe what she had done, when she looked down to see Rousey on the octagon mat as the stunned Melbourne crowd leapt to their feet.
The fighter known as “The Preacher’s Daughter” becomes the first female ever to have won world boxing and UFC titles.
Rousey was in trouble from the beginning, on the receiving end of several short left hand punches to the face, and she went to her corner looking exhausted at the end of the first round.
Experts said Holm delivered “the perfect fight”, standing up to Rousey’s aggressive approach, an approach that ultimately backfired.
Tensions had been high leading up to the fight, as Rousey and Holm clashed at their weigh-in on Saturday.