Nothing soothes skeptics like a full performance. Two weeks into her 39th birthday, former Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s bantamweight defender Holly Holm has beaten, surpassed and surpassed Irene Aldana by one decision Unanimous in the UFC on the ESPN 16 main event Saturday at the Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi, UAE. All three judges hit scores in favor of Holm: 50-44, 50-45 and 50-45.
Aldana had been out of his depth from the start. Holm scored 55% of her total strikes (187 for 342) and got single eliminations within five rounds, as she kept the Lobo Gym rep unbalanced with variety and volume. Aldana was a faded force as she reached the final stages of their meeting, leaving her increasingly vulnerable to an experienced and effective opponent. Holm did his best job in the fifth inning, where the Jackson-Wink MMA mainstay hit the accelerator and connected with 48 important strikes, including 37 to the head.Following UFC on ESPN 16 “Holm vs Aldana”, here are four games to go:
Germaine de Randamie vs. Holly Holm: Adding a new wrinkle to her ever-evolving game, de Randamie recorded the first submission victory of her career when she smothered unconscious Julianna Pena with a third-round guillotine in their critical female bantamweight case. Pena needed a referee’s assistance at 3:25 am on Round 3. An accomplished Muay Thai stylist who used her advantages on the feet throughout the match, Randamie had the answers when they mattered most. Pena went into melee in round three, leveled for an out, and paid a hefty price for exposing her neck. “The Iron Lady” calmly tightened the choke and waited for the lack of blood flow to the brain to do the rest. De Randamie has met Holm once before – with the first female featherweight crown on the line – and walked away with a contentious decision at UFC 208 in February 2017.
Kyler Phillips vs. Kevin Natividad-Miles Johns winner: Phillips took the next step in his development by knocking out Cameron Else with punches and elbows in the second round of their bantamweight showcase. An emerging threat at 135 pounds, the once-beaten MMA Lab star brought her to a decisive end 44 seconds after Round 2. Else spent much of her Octagon debut in hiding. Phillips showed his superiority on the pitch: he executed a first-round takedown, rose to dominance and staggered the Jackson-Wink MMA export with nudges in an omen of what was to come. John Crouch’s protege got another takedown early in the center stanza, switched to the rear mount, and pummeled Else with punches and elbows to cause the stop. Natividad and Johns are set to face each other at UFC Fight Night 181 on October 31.
Dusko Todorovic vs. Kyle Daukaus-Dustin Stoltzfus winner: Still something of an unknown commodity, Todorovic excelled in his promotional debut and took root in the middleweight division with his technical second round knockout of Dequan Townsend. The undefeated Secutor MMA prospect pulled the curtain down 3:15 in Round 2. Todorovic consistently knocked out Townsend in over eight minutes, edging the journeyman by a margin of 109-21. Dana White’s Contender Series graduate executed an out in the first 90 seconds of the second round, went full blast and unleashed a sustained flurry of punches until referee Jason Herzog saw some enough. Todorovic’s goalless record now stands at 10-0 with nine finishes. Daukaus and Stoltzfus will see the horns at UFC Fight Night 182 on November 7.
Carlos Condit vs. Tim means: Condit posted his first victory in Days 1953, as he ended a career-high five-game losing streak with a unanimous decision over Court McGee in the welterweight prelims. All three of the cage judges scored 30-27 for “The Natural Born Killer,” who proved he still had something in the tank at the age of 36. Former Extreme Cagefighting world champion took the reins in the closing seconds of the first lap, where he connected with a devastating right hook that sat McGee down and left him with significant nose damage. The winner of Season 11 of “The Ultimate Fighter” spoiled the blood flow for the remainder of the match, as Condit increased the aggression and kept him at bay with variety and volume. Means last appeared at UFC Fight Night 174 on August 8, when he claimed a unanimous verdict on Laureano Staropoli.