Article

Cyborg aces ultimate test, retains belt vs. Holm

Read on for UFC 219 main event results...
CYBORG vs HOLM

After over 12 years of dominance that has seen her stay undefeated over her last 20 fights, UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg was in search of a defining win that would eliminate any doubt as to her place among the greats of the sport, and Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, she accomplished that mission, as she scored a five-round unanimous decision victory over former bantamweight champion Holly Holm in the main event of UFC 219.

Scores were 49-46 and 48-47 twice for Cyborg, now 19-1 with 1 NC. Holm falls to 11-4.


A wild exchange early on ended with a push to the mat by Holm and a lock-up against the fence by “The Preacher’s Daughter.” After a brief spell locked up, the two broke and Cyborg landed a hard 1-2, getting Holm’s attention. Holm fired back in spurts, but her punches were having no effect on the champion. With 90 seconds left, Holm again bulled Cyborg into the fence, and while the Brazilian didn’t stay there for long, the challenger used the same tactic moments later, presumably to tire her foe.

Holm bloodied Cyborg’s nose early in the second, and the challenger began upping her work rate with her strikes while getting out of danger before Cyborg could respond. Holm’s control in the clinches was also serving her well, as she frustrated the champion’s offense, but Cyborg did get in some hard shots before the end of the round.

Entering round three, Holm’s left eye was beginning to close, and Cyborg got off to a good start by landing some hard knees in the clinch, and she continued to get the better of the exchanges as she marched forward, forcing Holm to fight off her back foot for much of the frame. Just before the end of the round, Cyborg rocked Holm with a right hand, but the Albuquerque native made it to the horn.

By the fourth round, Holm’s strikes appeared to be more to keep Cyborg off her than to finish the fight, and the Brazilian was unbothered as she kept moving forward. Holm did stay busy, making it a mystery as to whether the judges would score the damage Cyborg was doing or the activity of Holm, but if momentum was the guide, it was clearly in Cyborg’s favor.

In the fifth, both fighters took their attacks to another level in order to make a final statement, and just as in the previous four frames, it was Cyborg doing more damage and Holm flurrying in spurts until the final horn sounded.

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