Melbourne: American Holly Holm tamed the world's most feared female prizefighter Ronda Rousey with a stunning knockout victory for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight title in Australia yesterday.
Holly Holm of the US (R) lands a kick to the neck to knock out compatriot Ronda Rousey and win the UFC title fight in Melbourne. Pic/AFP
Holm, 34, made a blistering start to the title fight before 56,000 fans at Melbourne's Etihad Stadium, becoming the first fighter to win a round against her fellow American, a former judo champion.
Rousey's past three fights had lasted just 64 seconds in total, but Holm delivered a head kick 59 seconds into the second round of the bout to send Rousey crashing to the canvas. Holm, the underdog, clearly took points in the first round as her overhand lefts landed flush on Rousey's face.
She had Rousey staggering in the second round with some crunching left hooks, before finishing her off with a left-foot kick that landed flush under the champion's jaw.
It appeared Rousey was close to unconsciousness as she dropped. Holm followed up with a few strikes before the referee stopped the fight, with Rousey looking considerably the worse for wear.
It was Rousey's first defeat in 13 bouts and left Holm unconquered in the mixed martial arts sport with a 10-0 record. "I had so much love and support — I thought how could I not do this," Holm said in the ring.