The Octagon set up shop in Melbourne, Australia Saturday night for the first time, as UFC 193 made history.
Holly Holm, who found success competing in three divisions as a boxer, knocked out Ronda Rousey to become the second-ever UFC female bantamweight champion in front of 60,000-plus fans.
Holm didn’t do it with a fluke strike or shocking submission. Instead, she picked Rousey apart before landing a head-kick that left “Rowdy” almost out. Two more uncontested blows and the former Olympic bronze medalist was looking up at the sky and her unbeaten run.
In the second title fight, Joanna Jedrzejczyk was able to turn back the game effort of challenger Valerie Letourneau and remain strawweight champion. She earned her second title defense and set up a rematch with Claudia Gadelha for 2016.
The rematch belonged to Mark Hunt, as “The Super Samoan” finished Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in under four minutes. The first time they fought, the two heavyweights went the full 25 minutes in a draw.
New Zealand’s Robert Whittaker moved closer to the top of the middleweight division, claiming a decision over Uriah Hall. Coming off a win over Gegard Mousasi, Hall replaced Michael Bisping in the fight. However, competing for the third time in under 100 days, he couldn’t figure out the former Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes winner.
Heavyweights Jared Rosholt and Stefan Struve kicked off the pay-per-view main card, with Rosholt scoring the decision thanks to his wrestling. The former Oklahoma State University wrestler earned a decision.
Jake Matthews was almost finished in the first round vs. Akbarh Arreola, but the youngster battled back and left the Mexican with a bruised up face. The doctor stopped the bout after the second round, giving “The Celtic Kid” the victory.
Kyle Noke listened to his coach, Mike Winkeljohn, and unleashed a nasty kick to the body of Peter Sobotta, stopping the German and earning a first round finish. Noke scored his second win of the year.
After suffering a knockout loss earlier this year, Gian Villante returned the favor at the expense of Australia’s Anthony Perosh, flooring the Aussie in the first round. Villante improved to 3-1 over his last four with a finish.
Behind stronger wrestling and effective striking, Danny Martinez opened the FOX Sports 1 prelims with a decision win over Richie Vaculik. He earned the victory on all three scorecards.
Daniel Kelly and Steve Montgomery battled for 15 minutes, with Kelly – the Australian judo star – pulling out the decision. Richard Walsh and Steve Kennedy were the first fight to go to the distance, as Walsh picked up a clean sweep victory on all three scorecards.
James Moontasri’s first fight at welterweight went as planned, as the fighter scored a first round finish of Anton Zafir. Moontasri landed with both a spinning back-kick and back-fist to put the UFC newcomer away.
Fighting in his adopted home of Australia, Ben Nguyen locked up the fourth-fastest flyweight division finish with a submission win over Ryan Benoit to begin the night.
Holm and Rousey were awarded “Fight of the Night,” while Holm and Noke claimed “Performance of the Night” bonuses. All four were worth $50,000 each.
Complete results can be found below, while full play-by-play coverage can be found on FightLine:
Holly Holm def. Ronda Rousey via KO (head-kick, strikes) at :59 of Round 2 to become the new UFC female bantamweight champion
Joanna Jedrzejczyk def. Valerie Letourneau via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 50-45) to remain UFC strawweight champion
Mark Hunt def. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva via TKO (strikes) at 3:41 of Round 1
Robert Whittaker def. Uriah Hall via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Jared Rosholt def. Stefan Struve via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Jake Matthews def. Akbarh Arreola via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) at 5:00 of Round 2
Kyle Noke def. Peter Sobotta via TKO (strikes) at 2:01 of Round 1
Gian Villante def. Anthony Perosh via KO (right-hand) at 2:56 of Round 1
Danny Martinez def. Richie Vaculik via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Daniel Kelly def. Steve Montgomery via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Richard Walsh def. Steve Kennedy via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
James Moontasri def. Anton Zafir via TKO (strikes) at 4:36 of Round 1
Ben Nguyen def. Ryan Benoit via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:35 of Round 1