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UFC 225 results: Holly Holm puts on master class in win over Megan Anderson

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

On a night that featured a depressing string of veteran losses, from Rashad Evans to Andrei Arlovski to Alistair Overeem, to Joseph Benavidez, Holly Holm rode to the rescue.

Holm, the 36-year-old former UFC bantamweight and three-weight word boxing champion, put in a smart, veteran performance in defeating young hotshot Megan Anderson at UFC 225 on Saturday night.

Giving up size and reach, Holm overwhelmed her opponent in the first non-title women’s featherweight fight in UFC history. The judges’ scores at Chicago’s United Center were a pair of 30-26s and a 30-27 for a unanimous decision.

Anderson, the former Invicta featherweight champion, seemed to send a signal early as she used her size advantage to nail Holm with a knee and followed it with a sharp elbow.

But Holm dominated things from there. She neutralized Anderson in the clinch in the first round and then slowly wore her down.

In the second, she took Anderson to the mat and worked her over. The third round was basically the same. Anderson, who had not fought since Jan. 2017, was never able to get on track in the fight.

In this case, the stats tell the story: Holm outlanded Anderson 66-25 in significant strikes; landed four takedowns to Anderson’s none, and had 10:36 of control time to Anderson’s zero.

Holm’s victory was her second in her past three fights, and put her at 12-4 on her career. The question from here becomes, does she fight Amanda Nunes for the bantamweight belt she once held, or go for a featherweight title fight with Cris Cyborg, whom she took the distance in a decision loss at UFC 219?

“I want both,” Holm said. “I want it all, naturally I do. I think sometimes when you get attached to something, 135 kind of calls my name a little more, I had it and I lost it and I want it back.”

Anderson dropped to 8-3 and had a four-fight win streak snapped.

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