It’s been a long time since Holly Holm upset UFC champ and judo star Ronda Rousey. Saturday night the 40-year-old Holm’s once prodigious kickboxing skills weren’t quite up to the task against another judoka as she dropped a close split decision to Ketlen Vieira in the main event of UFC Fight Night 206.
Having clearly lost a step, Holm sought to make up for it by turning the bout into a clinch battle. She kept Vieira penned up against the cage in the early going using a deep right underhook and driving her head into her opponent’s face to maintain control. Vieira came back in the second with a takedown and a strong standing choke attempt.
Holm continued to look for the clinch through most of the five rounds while Vieira did some damage with her right hand. Most of the rounds were close with the third being the key. Holm controlled Vieira in the clinch much of the round though Vieira hurt her with punches toward the end of the stanza. One judge gave the round to Holm and had it 48-47 for her while the other two gave the third to Vieira and had it 48-47 for her.
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