Holly Holm notched a win over Irene Aldana via unanimous decision in the main event of UFC on ESPN 16 from Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Saturday.
Holm was aggressive in the first round. She employed her usual active movement but blitzed Aldana with punches to mix things up. Aldana did little to cut off the cage and force the action. Holm punctuated the round with a rare takedown.
The Preacher's Daughter amplified that game plan in the second frame. She scored the takedown much earlier in the round and did more damage there and won the stand-up exchanges.
As the fight moved into the championship rounds, the same rules of engagement continued to play out. Holm had a great game plan and carried it out nearly flawlessly.
No matter what Aldana did, Holm seemed to have an answer. It was her most comprehensive performance in recent memory and led to her first time getting back-to-back wins since she captured the bantamweight belt from Ronda Rousey in 2015.
- Holly Holm def. Irene Aldana via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-44)
- Carlos Felipe def. Yorgan de Castro via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Germaine de Randamie def. Julianna Pena via submission (guillotine) at 3:25 of Round 3
- Kyler Phillips def. Cameron Else via TKO at 0:44 of Round 2
- Dusko Todorovic def. Dequan Townsend via TKO at 3:15 of Round 2
- Carlos Condit def. Court McGee via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Charles Jourdain vs. Joshua Culibao ruled split draw (27-30, 29-28, 28-28)
- Nassourdine Imavov def. Jordan Williams via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)
- Loma Lookboonmee def. Jinh Yu Frey via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Casey Kenney def. Alateng Heili via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-27)
- Luigi Vendramini def. Jessin Ayari via TKO at 1:12 of Round 1
Carlos Felipe def. Yorgan de Castro
Carlos Felipe got his first UFC win in the co-main event by overwhelming Yorgan de Castro en route to a unanimous-decision victory.
Felipe lost his UFC debut to Sergey Spivak in a bout where he was rag-dolled by the wrestler. De Castro had no interest in taking things to the mat, but all that did was allow Felipe to showcase his striking.
The 25-year-old invested early in body shots. He routinely fired his left hook into De Castro's ribs, and it appeared to be a winning strategy. By the final round, he was stringing together combinations.
De Castro falls to 1-2 in the UFC. He lost his last fight via decision to Greg Hardy but was expected to get back in the win column here. His lack of urgency cost him, as Felipe was the aggressor throughout.
Germaine de Randamie def. Julianna Pena
At 36 years old and with professional fights in kickboxing and muay thai, Germain de Randamie never had a submission victory. She changed that against Julianna Pena with a surprising guillotine choke.
GDR looked sharp while striking early in the fight. She kept Pena at the end of her jab and controlled the distance.
Looking to make up for lost time, Pena was more aggressive in the second and third rounds. She had some success with that strategy, but it was ultimately her undoing. Pena had The Iron Lady pinned against the fence and looking for a takedown when the former champion grabbed on to the choke.
De Randamie forced the stoppage to give her a win in her first fight since losing to Amanda Nunes at UFC 245 last December.
GDR is in a tough situation. She is one of the most underappreciated fighters on the roster. Her only losses in the UFC have come against Nunes, who has cleaned out the bantamweight division. She'll need to continue to earn finishes if she wants any chance of getting a third fight with the Brazilian.
Kyler Phillips def. Cameron Else
Kyler Phillips was impressive in his second UFC appearance and picked up his first stoppage in the Octagon with a second-round TKO of Cameron Else in bantamweight action.
Phillips was aggressive from the outset and showed skills both in the exchanges and in the wrestling department. While both fighters landed something of note on the feet, once the fight hit the mat, it was a different story.
Else had no answers once the grappling became involved. He gave up his back, and Phillips flattened him out en route to a TKO.
Phillips' won his debut via a unanimous decision over Gabriel Silva in February. Else isn't a huge step up in competition, but a win here should propel him toward some bigger matchups.
There are plenty of intriguing options at 135 pounds for an emerging prospect.
Dusko Todorovic def. Dequan Townsend
Dusko Todorovic's UFC debut was a smashing success. The Serbian middleweight earned a UFC contract on Dana White's Contenders Series with a decision win over Teddy Ash but didn't need the judges to help him pick up a victory over Dequan Townsend.
In the first round he proved he was the superior striker. He came forward swinging heavy leather and landed punches in bunches. His aggression paid off as Townsend had few answers.
The second round was even more terrifying as the undefeated prospect wanted to grapple. Todorovic picked up his opponent and dumped him to the ground. From there, it was seek and destroy. He continued to look to improve his position until he had Townsend mounted and was raining down strikes.
It's hard to put too much into one performance, but this was reminiscent of what Khamzat Chimaev did when he became a breakout UFC prospect over the summer at Fight Island. If Todorovic continues to run through people like that, he'll quickly ascend the rankings.