Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm snapped her three-fight losing streak by borrowing the most famous maneuver from her own playbook.
Holm knocked out Bethe Correia in the third round of the main event of UFC Fight Night 111 at Singapore Indoor Stadium on Saturday with a left kick to the head.
It was the same kick that Holm landed to end Ronda Rousey’s dominant title reign atop the division in 2015. Holm hadn’t won a fight since that November day, as she dropped her next three fights after dethroning Rousey and was starting to feel the pressure.
“With this win I feel great right now,” Holm said. “I appreciate the first two rounds were slow, but I wanted to pick my shots and not make it too messy out there. I picked the shot I wanted and got the finish. In my last two fights, my opponents countered me, so I countered tonight. We figured she would get frustrated, and that’s what opened up the opportunity for the head kick. I really wanted this for my coaches mostly. Just imagine how many hours they’ve put into me in this last year and a half. I’m going to enjoy this win tonight and then spend some time with my family.”
After dropping Correia with the kick, Holm followed with punches on the ground to end the fight.
Former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski lost for the fifth straight time, dropping a unanimous decision to Marcin Tybura. It was the first fight during Arlovski’s skid that went to the scorecards.
After the fighters split the first two rounds, Tybura dominated the final five minutes by tripping Arlovski to the mat and damaging him in top position.
Welterweight Colby Covington continued his ascent in the division by dominating veteran Dong Hyun Kim for almost the entire 15 minutes and winning a unanimous decision. Covington improved to 7-1 since signing with the UFC.
“Nothing surprised me about this fight,” Covington said. “I knew what his strengths were coming into the octagon and so I prepared for that. I’m so honored to have competed against a legend and to be here fighting in Asia. This win should now put me in the top 10 of the welterweight division. No one outside of the top five had beaten Kim previously — only the top guys, and that’s where I think I belong.”
Covington said he thinks his rise has led him into title contention.
“I’m the most complete welterweight in the division — tonight a lot of my success came in my striking,” he said. “I’m well rounded and not needing to depend just on my wrestling. I want a top contender next. I’m ready to be that guy — to step up against Maia, Woodley, whoever.”
Former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos snapped a two-fight losing streak in his welterweight debut with a unanimous decision over Tarec Saffiedine.
“To me, this win means a lot,” he said. “My last win was way back in 2016, about 18 months ago, so it’s great to be a winner again.”
Dos Anjos said he felt great fighting at 170 pounds and not needing to cut weight.
“I knew I had 15 minutes to fight and prove myself,” he said. “Sometimes you get the finish, but I was prepared to go the distance. He, to me, looked tired as the fight went on because of my constant pressure. He’s a tough dude, but my will to win and my forward pressure won me this fight. I want to go home and enjoy this win with my family, but I want to get back into the octagon at least one more time this year.”
Lightweight Jon Tuck highlighted the preliminary card with a first-round submission of Japanese star Takanori Gomi. It was the fourth straight loss for Gomi, the first not by knockout.
“I’ve been preparing for this moment my whole life,” Tuck said. “This is my breakthrough moment — career defining. To beat a legend like Gomi will only help propel me further. Being from Guam, I’ve now competed against and beaten the best fighters in the region — from Philippines, China, Korea and now a legend from Japan. I’m taking my game to the next level and need to now beat the best. I have no doubt in my skills and ability. I know what I possess and where I belong. I want to prove myself in the octagon against the best of the best — no one wants to be a dojo legend. Give me another big name and let’s do it all again.”
Alex Caceres and Li Jingliang were among other winners.
Contact Adam Hill at email@example.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.