"She had a good clinch and on the ground she made it hard for me to tee off on her. It's the first time I've been there (the ground) in a fight," Holm said.
The opening round proved to be the most difficult, as Hayes was able to close the distance and force Holm into a grinding battle in the clinch. Still, Holm appeared to be the stronger fighter and was able to control the struggle for positioning, tossing the Colorado-based fighter to the floor late in the frame.
Holm was able to find her range in round two, connecting with a variety of accurate kicks to the knees, legs and body. The New Mexico native appeared to hurt Hayes with a pair of hard body kicks late in the frame, but the 40-year-old Rough House MMA & Fitness representative made it to the end of the period.
A steady diet of low kicks to Hayes' lead leg were Holm's weapon of choice early in round three. Later, Hayes showcased admirable resilience by remaining upright after absorbing back-to-back head kicks from the former world champion boxer. When a wobbly Hayes attempted to clinch out of sheer desperation, Holm dragged her to the mat and moved into full mount, where she attacked with measured ground-and-pound. One final takedown in the waning seconds capped off the victory.
Ari also caught Holm and her trainer Mike Winkeljohn of Jackson's MMA talking to the media at the post-fight press conference.
In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.