One of the most highly-anticipated women’s MMA match-ups of the year, Cris Cyborg vs. Holly Holm, didn’t disappoint. Holly showed some great strength early on in the fight, managing to control Cyborg against the cage. Both fighters landed some hard shots on eachother, and the first round came to an end with the pair exchanging shots in the center of the cage.
Holly’s corner told her to keep doing what she’s doing, Cyborg’s corner told her to feint more and not just load up one shot. Holly looked a little more shook in between rounds one and two, but it’s a five round fight for a reason.
The second round looked better for Holly, as she seemed to slip more into her game plan after surviging Cyborg’s initial fury. Rogan commented that Cyborg was starting to look frusterated as the second round progressed. Holly started flowing better, moving out of the way from kicks with ease, and stiffling Cyborg’s offense with clinches that she’s been able to control for the most part. We’ve never seen an opponent of Cyborg’s that has been able to hold their own in the strength department.
Going into the third round, Holly’s team warned her that Cyborg is going to try to take over this round. As the third progressed, Holly had less variety in her strikes, and the tide shifted towards Cyborg, although both fighters landed some strong shots. There was less grappling in this round, which ended with a massive flurry from Cyborg after wobbling Holm. Going into the 4th, it comes down to endurance and stamina.
Through the forth and going into the fifth, Cyborg had taken over, but Holm was still aggressive. Cyborg fought with a lot of patience, perhaps knowing the fight could go the distance and she would need to preserve her energy. Holly isn’t someone you want to gas against.
Surprisingly, despite some nice combos by Cyborg going into the last minute of the fifth round, and flurries from both fighters, this fight went to a decision.
Cyborg had a big smile on her bloodied face to end the fight, a fight which could have been ended numerous times along the way if either of these two fighters weren’t so durable and tough, but they were both able to eat everything their opponent threw at them.
Holly displayed a TON of grit and strength, but ultimately the judges saw this one is favor of Cyborg, who continues her tear through the UFC. None the less, it was incredible for Holly to go the distance against Cyborg, and says a lot about her position near the peak of women’s MMA.
Cyborg remains champion in a division of 5 fighters, with nobody to call out besides Anderson, who isn’t even in the UFC. She’s beating everyone they put in front of her, but there aren’t a lot of people left.