UFC 219: Cris Cyborg outlasts tenacious Holly Holm to retain featherweight title

Kristopher Nichols
January 2, 2018

Cris Cyborg has produced a technical masterclass to defeat Holly Holm and retain the UFC women's featherweight championship at UFC 219 in Las Vegas. The bout marked the first time "Cyborg" defended the UFC featherweight title she secured in July, when she stopped Tonya Evinger. And, when Cyborg slowly closed the distance, Holm grabbed her and clinched against the cage. The scores were 49-46, 48-47, and 48-47.

In advance of this fight, Holm was considered one of the toughest tests of Cyborg's incredible career thus far, and as it turns out, these suspicions proved accurate.

In the fifth round, Holm upped the pace realising she needed a knockout to win but it was not to be as Cyborg won the bout going 25 minutes for the first time in her career.

Holm's face was beat up by the end, although neither fighter appeared seriously injured. Esparza used her wrestling and savvy veteran know-how to get past Carrillo, who was clearly the bigger fighter between the two.

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While Holm showed heart, Cyborg was just too much for her. Cyborg cuts weight to make the 145-pound limit, whereas Holm has to go up in weight to make the fight happen - she usually fights at 135.

Cyborg has an interest in fighting unified welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus - who was sitting ringside on Saturday night to watch the fight against Holm. "Maybe we can fight in Australia", Cyborg said, referring to Anderson's native country. The post-fight narrative has been that it should be either Justino's fellow Brazilian and UFC champ, Amanda Nunes, or Megan Anderson.

"I will keep training and be ready for my next opponent".

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