Sunday, June 18, 2017

Holm ends losing streak with knockout

SINGAPORE -- American MMA fighter Holly Holm broke her three-fight losing streak in Singapore Saturday, knocking out Brazilian Bethe Correia with a kick to the head.

The bantamweight fight was the headliner on Saturday's fight card, Ultimate Fighting Championship's return to Asia after a 19-month absence.

The pair got off to a slow start with barely any contact in the first two rounds, prompting boos from the Singapore Indoor Stadium crowd.

Responding to a taunt in Round 3, Holm delivered a head kick that sent Correia crashing to the canvas and finished her opponent off with a punch.

"I picked the shot I wanted and got the finish... We figured she would get frustrated and that’s what opened up the opportunity for the head kick," Holm said in an interview after the fight.

Holm ended top star Rhonda Rousey's unbeaten run in 2015 with a similar move, a defeat she never bounced back from.

Since her upset of Rousey, Holm has also struggled, losing her subsequent three bouts. She previously had an unblemished 10-0 record in MMA.

In making its Asian return, UFC, the world's biggest MMA promoter, has its eye on the lucrative mainland Chinese market, initially scheduling two Chinese fighters on Saturday's card.

Top Chinese MMA star Wang Guan pulled out a week before the fight, citing injury.

But Li Jingliang, widely seen as China's best MMA prospect, roundly took down Guam's Frank Camacho in a three-bout fight, exhausting his opponent and winning by unanimous decision.