Cris Cyborg Beats Holly Holm Via Decision at UFC 219

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 31, 2017

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 30:  (L-R) Cris Cyborg of Brazil punches Holly Holm in their women's featherweight bout during the UFC 219 event inside T-Mobile Arena on December 30, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Cris Cyborg left no doubt about her standing as the best female mixed martial artist in the world with a unanimous-decision win over Holly Holm at UFC 219 to retain the women's featherweight championship. 

The judges scored it 49-46, 48-47, 48-47, according to MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani.

Holm bloodied Cyborg with left-handed strikes but didn't land nearly enough to deter the Brazilian. Cyborg was the stronger fighter from start to finish. Not only did she connect with enough offense to get the judges on her side, but she also countered Holm's offense well.

MMA Fighting's Luke Thomas thought Holm should walk away proud with her effort, though:

Since losing her first professional fight in 2005, Cyborg has gone unbeaten in her last 20 fights with a 19-1 (one no-contest) record overall.

The only blemish on Cyborg's resume during that span was a first-round TKO win over Hiroko Yamanaka in December 2011 that was overturned to a no-contest when she failed a performance-enhancing-drug test that led to a one-year suspension. 

Since signing with the UFC in 2015, Cyborg has won each of her four fights. The Brazilian star was at an advantage coming into Saturday's matchup because Holm was moving up in weight to 145 pounds for this title shot. 

Holm's background in boxing didn't faze Cyborg, who had little doubt her power would overwhelm the American. 

"It’s going to be a great fight," she told Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times a month before the fight. "Holly has a lot of boxing experience, like 300 rounds, but the difference will be the power. She’s never fought anyone like me. I really like boxing."

Cyborg knew what she was talking about, though it's hardly a surprise Holm couldn't find an answer to combat that power. 

According to FightMetric, Cyborg has landed a remarkable 7.83 strikes per minute in her career. By comparison, Holm averages three strikes per minute

Cyborg's size, power and accuracy have made her one of the most dangerous fighters in the world. She picked apart Holm at UFC 219 and will await her next challenge as she continues to sit atop the mountain in the women's featherweight division. 

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