The fight is a rematch of a 2015 meeting that served as Holm’s UFC debut; she won by split decision. Holm is 2-5 in her last seven outings, while Pennington is 5-2. Both share losses to recent title challenger Germaine de Randamie and current champ-champ Amanda Nunes.
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Round 1: Jason Herzog is the referee for this bout. Holm looking very energetic at the start. Feints from both women through the opening moments. Right hand by Pennington connects. Holm countering with side kicks to the leg. Pennington charges in with straight punches, Holm clinches up and wrestles Pennington against the cage. They’re at a stalemate, neither able to do more than land short strikes on the inside. Pennington fighting off a body lock. Herzog giving both fighters plenty of time to work. Dirty boxing by Holm keeps her ahead on the scorecards. Penningotn almost reverses position, but Holm muscles her back to the fence. Pennington goes for a takedown attempt in the closing seconds to little success. Holm should be up after an uneventful first round.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Holm.
Round 2: Pennington coming out with her jab now, she’s chasing Holm. Holm sticking to her game plan, landing leg kicks. High front kick by Holm is helping her to control the distance. Holm shoots in and again pushes Pennington to the fence. Back to the battle of underhooks. Little output from either fighter beyond short strikes as Holm works to trip Pennington or keep her from reversing the position. They separate briefly, but before Pennington can get going she is again smothered against the fence. Pennington gets a brief flurry of offense to close out the round.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Holm. Overall, 20-18 Holm.
Round 3: Pennington shakes off a clinch. She’s desperate to get her hands going. Front kick to the body by Holm. Pennington is losing the fight when they’re at range. She lunges in for a straight right. Now it’s Pennington who initiates the clinch and Holm immediately gets an underhook and reverses. They separate and are back in the middle with about three minutes to work. Question mark kick by Holm misses. Holm scores with a straight left. Moments later, she follows with a right and tries to pressure against the cage, Holm returns to the clinch and shuts Pennington down. After about a minute of relative inactivity, Herzog calls for the reset. After a quick striking exchange, they clinch up again. Pennington pushes Holm back. Nice left hand by Pennington. For some reason, she initiates the clinch and Holm gladly takes the opportunity to turn her back to the fence.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Holm. Overall, 30-27 Holm.
Official result: Holly Holm def. Raquel Pennington via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)