MANILA, Philippines – The fighting pride of Holly Holm prevailed to the end as she refused to wave the white flag against Miesha Tate in the co-headliner of UFC 196 on Sunday, March 6 (Manila time).
Following her second-round knockout of Ronda Rousey this past November, many expected that it would be an easy night for Holm as her opponent had difficulties and lost to Rousey twice.
For the majority the 5-round contest, Holm dictated the tempo, hitting Tate with sidekicks to the body, oblique kicks to the thigh, and stinging punching combinations until the fifth stanza.
“Going to the fifth round, I felt good and energetic. I didn’t feel tired. I just kept going with the game plan because it’s working,” Holm said during the post-event press conference.
Realizing her desperate position, Tate was able to latch on herself to Holm’s body and quickly grabbed her opponent’s back for a rear-naked choke.
Wearing Tate like a backpack, Holm was defenseless as she allowed Tate to fully fasten the submission.
“I just got a little bit lazy there for a second. As far as tapping, I just thought that I got out of it in the second round. The next thing you know I didn’t tap, but [I was rendered unconscious],” Holm stated.
Tate walked out as the new UFC women’s bantamweight champion with her come-from-behind victory over Holm, who tasted her first loss as a mixed martial arts competitor.
The 34-year-old native of Albuquerque, New Mexico felt she was ahead on the scorecards (all 3 judges had it 38-37 heading into the fifth), which she says caused her to become complacent.
“I knew I was ahead on the scorecards. Maybe I felt like I was a little too complacent there instead of still acting with that sense of urgency. I let her get in way too tight before I tried to shuck her off. Big mistake, it cost me everything tonight, but I’ll be back,” Holm asserted.
However, the disappointing defeat did not break Holm’s competitive spirit as she aims to get back inside the Octagon to redeem herself.
Holm stressed that she wants a rematch versus Tate, but she is also open to other match-ups that the organization will offer.
“I’ll be training right away, and I’ll take the fight as soon as they give anything to me. It’s whatever opportunity they give to me. Who doesn’t want a rematch? If you’re making this your career, it’s because you have passion for it and it’s because you have pride,” she said. – Rappler.com