Holly Holm landed a picture perfect head kick that knocked out Bethe Correia in the main event of UFC Singapore. It was a beautiful kick that finished Correia in the 3rd round, and got Holm back on the winning track.
The first two rounds weren’t very eventful, and seemed to be shaping up to be one of the worst fights in recent memory. The crowd kept booing and the referee was even forced to issue a rare warning for timidity. Holm remained patient through it all, and when Correia taunted and called her in, the former UFC champion eventually landed the highlight reel finish just seconds later.
Overall, the UFC’s second trip to Singapore was a mixed bag. There were impressive finishes on the prelims, but all the main card bouts ended in decisions, with relatively low output bouts like Covington vs Kim and Tybura vs Arlovski back to back. The main event was seemingly heading that way as well, but Holm did manage to pull off a massive finish to pretty much save the main card.
- In the co-main event, Marcin Tybura defeated Andrei Arlovski by maintaining top control on 2 of the 3 rounds. But like most of the heavyweight fights that go the distance, it wasn’t a very pretty sight.
- Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos looked exactly the same at welterweight. He filled up his frame and looked to be as big, or even bigger than Tarec Saffiedine. While his opponent isn’t really the type to outmuscle opponents, RDA didn’t really look out of place strength-wise, and he still pressured and pushed the pace like he normally does. After defeating the #11 ranked welterweight, it will be interesting to see how RDA’s campaign at 170 develops.
- Jon Tuck demolished Takanori Gomi in a little over a minute. A beautiful front kick to the chin, followed by another one to the body badly hurt Gomi, and Tuck immediately pounced and choked him out early. With yet another bad loss for The Fireball Kid, it makes one wonder if or when the former PRIDE champion might have to seriously consider hanging it up.
- Colby Covington’s wrestling proved to be better than Dong Hyun Kim’s Judo, but it wasn’t a very entertaining bout that was spent mostly in almost a wall-n-stall stalemate. Afterwards, Covington kept screaming for a title shot, explaining that this was his division, but the crowd just booed. Needless to say, and it wasn’t a performance that will get matchmakers excited to give him a championship bout.
- I’m all for being more liberal with 10-8’s, but it’s weird how both Covington and Arlovski got 10-8 rounds for winning some exchanges, then just mostly holding someone on the fence.
- Walt Harris dispatched of Cyril Asker very early. Two punches on the feet, followed by brutal elbows and it was all over. After losing his first 3 UFC fights, Harris has recovered to win 3 of his last 4.
- Sasaki got a spectacular come from behind submission finish over Justin Scoggins. He survived two knockdowns, and a lot of brutal ground and pound, before getting a beautiful sweep to mount and then to back control. One tiny mistake and the young and lanky Japanese fighter finished the fight with a rear naked choke.
- Speaking of Japanese prospects, Naoki Inoue impressed on his debut, dominating URCC champ CJ de Tomas on the ground in a bout filled with a lot of transitions and scrambles. De Tomas showed toughness, but he was pretty much outgunned on the ground against his Japanese foe. Both are very young at 20-years-old, and I’m interested to see how each develops if they can stay in the UFC.
- China’s Leech continues his impressive streak. Frank Camacho landed big early in the first round, but Li Jingliang ate it, recovered, and went on to pick him apart to win a decision. He constantly threw to the body and legs, slowing down Camacho who came in on short notice.
- Russell Doane was getting out pointed early in the first round against Kwan Ho Kwak, but when he got one small opening, he landed a quick flurry by the fence that immediately finished the fight. Pretty impressive.
- Interesting thing about the stoppage during the Rolando Dy vs Alex Caceres bout. Dy was punched in the right eye, and even if the doctor cleared it and said “visually, he’s fine”, the referee still decided to stop the fight. Why? Because Dy was intentionally closing it, so he “wasn’t using the eye” while fighting. Dy came in on short notice, and the anticlimactic stoppage also meant Filipinos went 0-2 in the event.
- That wasn’t the only notable occurrence involving the officials. It might not have really affected the outcome, but for some reason the referee didn’t see (or ignored?) two blatant and obvious illegal grounded knees thrown by Dos Anjos in the 2nd round of his bout with Saffiedine.