SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST 6/18: Holly Holm back on winning track, Hughes health update, Grispi sentenced (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

By Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor

Holly Holm (photo credit Mark J. Rebilas © USA Today Sports)

You could say that UFC rewarded their most loyal fans Saturday morning, as the early prelims of yesterday’s Fight Pass event from Kallang, Singapore was full of action and finishes. Those who chose to sleep in a bit and catch the main card at 8 a.m. ET weren’t so lucky.

The four-fight main card saw three fights go the distance and, while the main event went out with a bang, it tested the patience of the Singapore crowd, and likely for viewers at home as well. Holly Holm picked up her first win in four fights when she knocked out the dancing Brazilian Bethe Correia with a “shin-on-face” head kick followed by a punch to the mouth while Correira was sitting upright but out cold.

The win, coupled with her name value from being the first to defeat Ronda Rousey, puts Holm squarely back into the championship conversation at 135 pounds or, potentially, in a soon to be rebooted women’s 145-pound division.

Other main card action saw Marcin Tybura mount and dominate veteran Andrei Arlovski in the early minutes of their fight only to lose steam and take some damage himself as the first-frame drew to a close. Tybura was able to hold on to take the decision win, improving his record to 16-2.

Colby Covington proved he has the grappling skills to compete with the upper-echelon of the UFC Welterweight Division after neutralizing Dong Hyun Kim for a unanimous-decision. He also showed that he has the mouth that might help him skip the line. Covington asked for an immediate title shot, but with a decisive yet unentertaining victory, and Demian Maia being all but promised the next crack at champ Tyron Woodley, Covington may have to settle for a top five opponent. Nevertheless, Colby Covington is one to watch and rapidly rising at 170.

The main card opened with a strong debut performance for former UFC Lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos at welterweight. Dos Anjos took a decision from welterweight stalwart Tarec Saffiedine to presumably cement himself at his new home at 170 pounds.

The early start was a welcome change, but the lack of action late in the card may have helped some fans back to sleep.

Hiscoe’s Analysis: If you haven’t seen the show yet, I would recommend checking out the main event just for the finish and you can probably watch the entire prelim card in an hour or two. I appreciate that UFC airs these Fight Pass cards at different times of the day as it gives fans in different markets or those who don’t or can’t stay up late a chance to experience a card live. It’s nice to see Holly Holm get a win as four losses in a row would be tough for her to come back from. She probably needs another win or two to get back into serious title contention, but I could also see UFC jumping at the chance to put her in a headlining position with Amanda Nunes if the opportunity was there as Holm has a lot of name value from her Rousey win.


-Other results from Saturday in Singapore:

Lucie Pudilova defeated Ji Yeon Kim by unanimous decision

Naoki Inoue defeated Carls John De Tomas by unanimous decision

Russell Doane defeated Kwan Ho Kwak by first round knockout

Li Jingliang defeated Frank Camacho by unanimous decision

Ulka Sasaki defeated Justin Scoggins by second round submission

Alex Caceres defeated Ronaldo Dy by TKO after two rounds

Walt Harris defeated Cyril Asker by first round knockout

John Tuck defeated Takanori Gomi by first round submission

-Performance bonuses went to Li Jingliang and Frank Camacho for fight of the night and to Holly Holm and Ulka Sasaki for performance of the night.

-No major updates on Matt Hughes’s condition since yesterday. He is still in stable condition in a Springfield, Illinois hospital after his truck was hit by a train on Friday. Hughes’s sister Beth Hughes-Ulrici released a statement: “He has some minor lacerations and bruising and is currently being weaned from his ventilator. He is not yet awake and not responding as we would like to see, but we see the fight in him.”

-Former UFC fighter Tim Hague is still in critical condition in an Edmonton, Alberta hospital after a knockout loss in a boxing match over the weekend. “He hasn’t been alone since this happened,” Hague’s sister Jackie Field wrote. “He is receiving the absolute best care, and we are so appreciative of all the doctors and nurses.”

Ariel Helwani is reporting that Cris Cyborg vs. Megan Anderson in a UFC Featherweight Championship bout is close to being official for UFC 214 on July 29 from Anaheim.

-Former UFC fighter Josh Grispi has been sentenced to five-and-a-half years in jail after being convicted on assault and gun charges last week in Brockton, Massachusetts. “It’s the worst case of domestic abuse I’ve ever seen,” Middleboro police officer Richard Harvey said. Harvey was on the scene after Grispi allegedly instructed his dog to attack his wife. Grispi was found not guilty on that charge.


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