It was the co-main event of the evening! UFC bantamweights Raquel Pennington (5-5) went up against UFC newcomer and 18-time World Boxing Champion Holly Holm (7-0).
Going into the fight a lot of eyes were on Holm to see if she would live up to the hype around her. Before she even signed with the UFC Holm was already being tapped as someone who could seriously challenge Ronda Rousey. Pennington, a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter 18, came into the fight having won her last fight over Ashlee Evans-Smith and two of her last three.
Holm came out with a low stance, trying to watch out for the takedowns. Pennington clinched up with Holm but the fighters separated shortly after. Holm looked to land punching combos, while maintaining a good distance. Pennington continued to try and cinch every time Holm got close enough. She eventually got Holm on the cage for a moment, but did no damage and Holm broke free. Pennington threw combos but Holm used good movement to stay out of the way. It was a close first round, but Holm most likely won.
In the second Holm almost landed a huge left high kick, but Pennington ducked just in time. Pennington managed to land a leg kick, but still struggled to get in close to Holm. Pennington looked the most active when she was in the clinch doing dirty boxing, but that situation didn’t come up very often. Holm’s boxing was on point as she kept landing combos and body punches. Again Holm looked for that head kick. Pennington’s hands were up but it was close. Holm landed body punches over and over.
Pennington, probably knowing she was down on the scorecards, looked more aggressive at the start of the third. Holm connected with a big right hook. Holm seemed to slip at one point and Pennington rushed in to capitalize. Holm reacted quickly and managed to get to her feet without taking any damage. Pennington was able land a few nice right hands. Pennington’s left eye looked pretty bad by the end of the fight. Holm had a bloody nose. Good effective boxing by Holm won her this fight.
Results: Holm wins via Split Decision (29-28,28-29,30-27)