November 14th, 2015. Melbourne, Australia. The UFC was ready to showcase their famed athlete, the best pound for pound athlete to ever grace the Octagon. Ronda Rousey made her way to the cage ready to defend her belt against Holly Holm, the former boxer turned MMA professional was set to challenge this seemingly invincible persona on her way to UFC gold. This was the night that ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ would silence the entire audience, and shock the entire world by capturing UFC gold and knocking out the one called Ronda Rousey.
Holly Holm took to the weight scale on November 13th in front of a huge Australian crowd and calmly stared out into space waiting for the official to set her weight before her colossal fight. The former boxer made weight and waited for her opponent to take her spot on the scale. Ronda in usual fashion had all the focus in the world as she stomped her way out to the scale and made it one pound under the 135lb mark. The two set to face off and the most unusual face off happened, with Ronda being confrontational and stepping into Holm’s face. The most unusual part of it all was Holm’s demeanor: calm, collected, and not an ounce of fear present. She knew she was ready for this fight, and that no matter what happened in the Octagon it would be her night when all was said and done.
How the Preacher’s Daughter Shocked the World
The lights shined down bright on the two women, with Bruce Buffer’s voice filling the entire Etihad Stadium; thousands of fans waiting for their betting favorite to be introduced. The look in Ronda’s eyes were the ones we were all to used to, cold, silent and attentive. The usual hitting of her shoulders followed and it seemed we were watching a replay of one her dominant fights before. On the opposite side of the cage, Holm stayed loose, calm, and pressure free. During the introduction she bounced on the balls of her feet getting blood circulating to execute the game plan that led her capture so many boxing titles.
The round began with Rousey marching forward, ready to run through Holm and take another double digit time fight. Holm was different than her other opponents though, she started circling out immediately, ready to look for her windows to strike. Ronda wanted to stay on her, keep the forward pressure as she does and aim for the kill with her famed judo throws-armbar combinations. Holly would have none of it. She circled the champion and found the hook over the guard multiple times. Ronda would be walking into punches left and right, seemingly wanting a boxing match for her ego after the first few connections. Holly would be the smarter of people who have tried before her, staying on the outside, fighting her fight and not letting Ronda gain a single second of confidence. Multiple hooks, jabs and crosses from the southpaw stance found their mark, eventually drawing blood from the invincible Ronda. This could never be thought of, seeing this goddess bleed and seem mortal. The fight would reach the mat, Ronda being taken down by Holm after being tied up in the clinch. Holm knew she was in Ronda’s world and for many, this was seen as her biggest mistake; however she knew to get right back to the feet and take the center of the Octagon for her striking game to take over as she did most of the round. Holm would end the round taking a punch from Ronda, seemingly thinking nothing of it and knowing the round was hers. This was the very first time we would see Ronda on the losing end of, well, anything in the world of MMA. This round was Holly Holm’s and marked the first time Ronda would lose a single round of any MMA fight in her 12-0 career.
The second round came just as fast as the first began, Holm being on the outside looking for the left hook and cross to pierce the champions guard. It seemed to frustrate, puzzle and annoy Ronda as she constantly looked for an answer. Any attack would suffice but Holly was in complete control, mixing in oblique kicks as well as body and head kick feints. The attack piled on and on, Ronda seemed to be slipping. With a wild punch attempt, the professional boxer Holly easily slipped out of any danger, making Ronda take a knee after missing, her weight completely thrown off balance and against the cage. Truly, an embarrassing moment for the champ. She charged back at her, looking to trade punches and this is when the world seemed to stand still. Holly Holm knew what she was in control of at this point, she countered again and again when all of a sudden the champion buckled, she took a knee and tried standing back up when Holly recognized the situation and set up a head kick as Ronda would turn to her. This kick started what no one thought possible: the downfall of a championship reign. The kick was flush, hitting the mark with ease and instantly flooring Rousey. Holm would follow up with hammer fists until referee Herb Dean had seen enough and pulled her off her unconscious opponent. This was her moment.
Holm ran to her corner, celebrating and crying, knowing she had realized her ultimate dream in becoming a champion. The world was in shock, Twitter took over and held all the shock people were feeling in the stadium and at home. Did this really just happen? Had Ronda Rousey, the toughest women fighter on the planet, out cold and defeated? Holly Holm would wait in the center, brought back from cloud nine with the sound of Bruce Buffer’s voice announcing the sweet words “And new…” It was here that she knew what seemed like a dream was reality, Holm did what the world deemed impossible and became the new UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion. The Preacher’s Daughter was in shock as was the world, she owed it all to her coaches and family who gave her all the love and drive to accomplish this feat. It was her night, and the night that the entire scope of MMA would change. Holly Holm, the boxer, the next feeding for Ronda and the overlooked fighter with more heart than most people, added another world title and biggest win to her already impressive fighting accomplishments.
The world of MMA is always filled with surprises, Chuck Liddell being beaten into retirement, Matt Serra defeating Geroges St. Pierre, Anderson Silva being knocked out by Chris Weidman, and TJ Dillashaw upsetting a 16:1 betting odd against Renan Barao. This may just be the biggest upset, underdog story of all time. The 34 year old Preacher’s Daughter would dethrone the one of a kind athlete in Ronda Rousey, not just with a win but a devastating KO in front of the biggest audience the UFC has ever seen. It is definitely a night to remember and one that Holly Holm will have in the records books for years to come.
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