As a main event meant to put a big exclamation point on 2017, UFC 219’s Cris Cyborg versus Holly Holm certainly looked good on paper. The dominant champ against the only striker in the entire division capable of standing with her? Sure, give me some.
Thankfully, over the course of five rounds, the fight delivered on the action. No one got finished, but both ladies took some lumps.
Those lumps for the champ came early, with Holm letting Cyborg know in Round 1 that she wasn’t going to be muscled around and struck with impunity. Though constantly mobile, when charged, the former bantamweight champ had a knuckle sandwich waiting for the featherweight queen when Cyborg charged, and for the first time ever… we saw Cyborg bleed from her nose.
However, if you ever doubted Cyborg’s ability to analyze and adjust, she put those doubts to bed by Round 2, because she had figured out all of Holm’s striking sequences and combos. From then on, the Brazilian blocked every one of Holm’s high-kicks, and though Holm still found openings with her oblique-kicks and single lefts and rights, Cyborg was in no danger of getting surprised.
Holm’s eye was a swollen mess by the end of Round 2, and whenever Cyborg got in close Holm countered by pushing her against the fence and out-muscling her. And in the final round, with both ladies swinging for the fences, Holm bloodied Cyborg’s nose even more. But when time ran out it was clear who’d done all the accumulating of points.
Results: Cris Cyborg def. Holly Holm via Unanimous Decision