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UFC 239 results: Amanda Nunes finishes Holly Holm with vicious head kick KO

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

If there was any question about Amanda Nunes’ status as the greatest women’s fighter of all time, she just answered it.

Nunes needed less than one round to finish former champion Holly Holm to defend her bantamweight title in the UFC 239 co-main event. Holm was the last remaining women’s bantamweight champion in UFC history who Nunes hadn’t faced yet and now she’s been added to “The Lioness” resume.

The fight came to an end at 4:10 in the opening round and according to Nunes she called her shot after telling her coaches that she wanted to knockout Holm with her own signature head kick.

“I knew I was going to get her with her own kick,” Nunes said following the fight. “I told my coach I wanted to knock her out the same way she likes to knock people out and then I did it tonight.”

As the fight got started, Holm settled into her usual pattern as she used her kicks to paw away at Nunes’ lead leg and then coming back over the top with her punches. Nunes never seemed worried about Holm’s power and instead just started to find her range while firing back with a few inside kicks of her own.

Because Holm tends to lift her right leg before throwing her kicks, Nunes had seen that tendency in past performances, which ultimately led to the end of the fight.

Late in the round, Holm set up her combination by raising that right leg, which Nunes countered with a thunderous head kick that landed flush. The impact reverberated throughout the T-Mobile Arena as Holm fell to the floor with Nunes following her down to the ground to land a few more punches until the referee could swoop into stop the fight.

Nunes becomes the first fighter to knockout Holm in her mixed martial arts career. She also has now defended her bantamweight title four times, just two short of Ronda Rousey’s all time record at six consecutive defenses.

While she may look to break that in the future, Nunes now hopes to return to the featherweight division to defend that title next, although the list of potential opponents is almost non-existent right now.

“I definitely want to defend my 145 belt,” Nunes said following her nine straight win overall. “Let’s see, I’m going to talk to Dana [White]. Dana tomorrow I’m going to call you and we’re going to have a talk.”

As for Holm, she drops to 2-5 in her past seven appearances with four consecutive losses in UFC title fights.