Holly Holm made the most-hyped fight of her young mixed martial arts career count, crushing Juliana Werner with a fifth-round head kick to preserve her undefeated record and seize a TKO victory in the main event of Legacy FC 30 on Friday night.
Holm (7-0) battered Werner from pillar to post, keeping her opponent at bay with an array of side kicks, kicks to the midsection and explosive high/low combinations. Holm, a former world champion boxer, appeared close to ending the night early midway through the second round, hurting Werner (7-4) with a flurry of kicks to the liver.
Werner gutted through storm, but Holm continued to methodically pick her apart before catching the Brazilian with a devastating left high kick early in the final frame. Werner dropped and Holm swarmed, capturing the inaugural Legacy FC women's bantamweight title with a TKO finish 1:50 into round five.
"It's just something that feels comfortable for me," Holm said of the head kick that signaled the beginning of the end. "We don't focus on it, but if it's there, I just want to take it. There was some things with movement so I just kept on it. Still a lot of things to learn."
Holm now has one fight left on her Legacy FC contract, and as one of the women's bantamweight division's most promising prospects, it's likely that she'll soon have no shortage of suitors.
Mike Winkeljohn, Holm's coach of 16 years, hinted towards a potential pay-per-view bout against Invicta FC featherweight champion Cris Cyborg while speaking to MMAFighting.com earlier this week, and Holm appeared open to the idea when asked during the AXSTV broadcast.
"I think very highly of Cyborg, even outside of the ring," Holm said. "Look at how long she's been at the top, and she never walks around with her nose in the air. She stays pretty humble, and it would be an honor to share the cage with her."