Holly Holm’s performance against Ronda Rousey on Saturday night at UFC 193 was fascinating, as she effectively worked from range to keep Rousey away, busting her face up with precision strikes, and forcing her out of her element entirely.
Rousey couldn’t get in close enough to effectively clinch or attempt to employ her judo game, and Holm was ready for her every time she had even the most minor of attempts. Rousey was shaken early by a left hand that blasted her in the nose, and never seemed to fully recover. Holm was ready for everything, and now holds that UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship.
UFC President Dana White reacted to the fight in post-event interviews on ESPN and Fox Sports 1 overnight, and chalked up the bout to what winds up happening to everyone at some point or another in their career.
“This is a fight, this is what happens. All the greats eventually go down one day,” he told ESPN, adding on Fox Sports 1, “Every time somebody goes on a win streak forever and they do great things, when they lose they become ‘exposed.’ No I don’t think that Ronda was ‘exposed’ tonight. I think Ronda just got beat tonight.”
As for what’s next, a rematch will happen, though when remains to be seen. White believes Rousey’s return will still come at UFC 200 next summer, as had been her plan with movie commitments into the new year.
“I wouldn’t say it’s too early at all [to talk rematch]. Obviously a rematch makes a lot of sense,” he said.
“This changes a lot of things, but we’ll see how it plays out… [Rousey] still has a movie to film, she’s still doing all the things that she has to do before she fights again, so I wouldn’t see her back any time sooner [than UFC 200].”
Penick’s Analysis: There’s a part of Rousey’s game that was absolutely exposed. She fancied herself an improved striker who was going to make a foray into boxing. Holm blew that notion to pieces with an excellently effective combination of speed, movement, and range. Her jabs busted Rousey’s face up, and her head movement for a vast majority of the bout allowed her to avoid most damage. Rousey made no adjustments. Edmond Tarverdyan told her after the first round that she was fighting beautifully. She had no technical ways to fix what was happening because she’s always been an instinct fighter, and her instincts got shattered by what Holm was doing in the fight. She’s now the one who has to make adjustments, who has to find a way to deal with the type of legitimate striking she saw from Holm on Saturday night; if and when she returns, she’ll need to be a lot better at adjusting and handling that type of opponent, or we’ll find ourselves with a repeat of last night’s event.
[Photo (c) Jason da Silva via USA Today Sports]