Read on for UFC 184 main card results...
LOS ANGELES, February 28 – The highly-anticipated UFC debut of former world boxing champion Holly Holm was a successful one, as the unbeaten Albuquerque native held off a strong late charge from ultra-tough Raquel Pennington Saturday night to win a three-round split decision in the UFC 184 co-main event at STAPLES Center.
Scores were 30-27, 29-28 and 28-29.
Holm had a strong opening round, mixing her punches and kicks well in the midst of defending attempts by Pennington
to lock up and grapple, and there was more of the same in the second and she began to let her punches and kicks go even more. Pennington got in more shots in round two, but she wasn’t able to stun “The Preacher’s Daughter” long enough to capitalize.
The most dramatic moment of the fight came with a little less than two minutes to go in the final round, when Pennington scored a flash knockdown with a right hand. Holm bounced back up immediately and began firing again, but by the end of the fight, Pennington had Holm on the defensive and bleeding from the nose. With another round, the result might have been different, but after clearly banking the first two rounds, Holm was the victor.
With the win, Holm improves to 8-0; Pennington falls to 5-6.
> Watch: Holly Holm Backstage Interview
ELLENBERGER vs. KOSCHECK
Welterweight veterans Jake Ellenberger and Josh Koscheck were both in desperate need of a victory with each on a three-fight losing streak, and it was Ellenberger who emerged with the win, as he submitted Koscheck in the second round.
Koscheck came out jabbing, but after eating a couple jabs in return, the former NCAA national wrestling champion took the fight to the mat. Ellenberger rose quickly, but was pinned to the fence by Koscheck, who stayed busy with foot stomps until Ellenberger broke free. In the ensuing action, it was Ellenberger appearing to hurt Koscheck with his punches, but not throwing enough against the elusive Koscheck to put the fight away.
Pursuing the takedown as soon as round two commenced, Koscheck didn’t get it, but he did put Ellenberger against the fence once more, with a restart being called by referee Jerin Valel after a stalemate. When the action resumed, it was Koscheck again putting the fight against the fence, but this time, Ellenberger surprised Koscheck with a guillotine choke that morphed into a north-south choke, and the end came moments later, with the former Ultimate Fighter veteran tapping out at 4:20 of the second round.
With the win, Ellenberger improves to 30-9; Koscheck, who was making his first Octagon start since November of 2013, falls to 19-9.
> Watch: Jake Ellenberger Backstage Interview
JOUBAN vs. WALSH
After a controversial decision loss to Warlley Alves in his previous bout, Los Angeles’ Alan Jouban wanted to take the judges out of his welterweight matchup with Richard Walsh, and he did just that, stopping the former TUF Nations competitor in the first round.
Both fighters went at each other with little regard for their personal safety, punches and kicks flying at a furious pace. Jouban was having a lot of success with his kicks, but it was a close-range left elbow to the head that started Walsh’s downfall as the Australian staggered into the fence. A follow-up flurry wouldn’t let Walsh off the hook, with referee John McCarthy stepping in to halt the fight at the 2:19 mark.
With the win, Jouban ups his record to 11-3; Sydney’s Walsh falls to 8-4.
> Watch: Alan Jouban Backstage Interview
FERGUSON vs. TIBAU
Surprisingly unraked at 155 pounds, Tony Ferguson sent a statement to voters and the rest of the lightweight division, delivering a dominant first-round finish of Gleison Tibau in the main card opener to win his fifth straight.
Sharp with his striking from the start, Ferguson (19-3) was repeatedly a step ahead of Tibau, owner of the most wins in UFC lightweight history. With a little over three minutes left, Ferguson tagged and hurt Tibau (40-11) with a right hand, and as the Brazilian tried to recover, Ferguson pounced, sinking in a rear naked choke as the fight went to the canvas, with the tap out coming at the 2:37 mark.
> Watch: Tony Ferguson Backstage Interview