Holly Holm was a fan-favorite in Texas all week and she delivered a complete performance in her first appearance of 2023.
Holm took on Yana Santos in the co-main event of UFC San Antonio and “The Preacher’s Daughter” picked up a one-sided unanimous decision victory. Holm used a wrestling-heavy game plan to bully Santos throughout the contest, leading to a 30-26 scorecard, and a pair of 30-27s from the judges.
After an extended feeling out process, Santos landed some shots in the clinch before Holm was able to get a clinch of her own, landing a nice elbow in close off the break. After throwing a barrage of front kicks, Holm landed a takedown and secured the opening stanza.
Holm got the fight to the mat in the second round as well, controlling Santos for most of the five-minute period. Holm got to a crucifix position and unloaded with short shots and shoulder strikes, with the referee taking a very close look at the action near the end of the round. Santos managed to tough it out and get to the horn.
As expected, Holm went right back to what got her so ahead in the contest, the wrestling, getting another takedown early in Round 3 and building towards nearly nine minutes of control by the time Santos got back to her feet. Holm continued to big sister Santos against the fence, landing another hard elbow off of the break, and getting one more big takedown before the lopsided fight came to a close.
With the win, the former bantamweight champion bounces back from a controversial decision loss to Ketlen Vieira and moves to 3-1 over her past four outings. Santos’ first bout since a first-round stoppage loss to Irene Aldana in July 2021 resulted in a second straight defeat.