Holly Holm was the first woman to defeat Ronda Rousey, but after five grueling rounds against featherweight champion Cris Cyborg, who many consider the best female mixed martial artist of all-time, she was unable to perform the same magic.
The judges awarded Cyborg a unanimous decision victory (49-46, 48-47, 48-47) over the former bantamweight champion Holm.
Holm put forth a valiant effort to try and seize a piece of UFC history by becoming the first female two-division champion, moving up a weight class to take on Cyborg. However, she was out struck 118-44 in significant strikes per FightMetric.
This was Cyborg’s first featherweight title defence and after the fight, she mentioned former Invicta featherweight champion Megan Anderson and a potential fight in Anderson’s home country of Australia at UFC 221 in Perth.
Nurmagomedov dominates Barboza
Khabib Nurmagomedov not only remains undefeated at 25-0, but he still has yet to lose a single round during his UFC tenure.
The second-ranked Nurmagomedov made the third-ranked Edson Barboza look like he was completely out of his league, defeating the Brazilian via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-24).
After the fight, Nurmagomedov said that he would prefer a fight against interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson because he is not convinced that champion Conor McGregor will come back to the UFC.
Nurmagomedov was scheduled to fight Ferguson for the interim title in March at UFC 209, but while cutting weight, Nurmagomedov suffered complications, was hospitalized and the fight was subsequently canceled.
Leading up to this fight, both Nurmagomedov and his nutritionist Tyler Minton openly discussed how easy of a weight cut it was and Nurmagomedov even said that he felt he could potentially fight in the featherweight division in the future.
UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas drew 13,561 attendees for a gate of $1.76 million.
The UFC awarded the Fight of the Night bonuses to Cyborg and Holm for their five round main event and Performance of the Night bonuses to Nurmagomedov and Tim Elliott, who scored a submission victory during the first fight of the event on the UFC Fight Pass preliminary card. Cyborg, Holm, Nurmagomedov and Elliott each earned an additional $50,000.
White says St-Pierre will not fight McGregor if he returns
UFC president Dana White told ESPN that should former welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre decide to fight again in the organization that it would not be against lightweight champion Conor McGregor.
White said that should St-Pierre want to return that both welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and middleweight champion Robert Whittaker would be who he would prefer to see him fight.
Recently, St-Pierre’s manager Firas Zahabi told TSN that he thinks St-Pierre will return for whatever the biggest fight is, naming fighters like McGregor and even boxer Floyd Mayweather as examples of the sort of matchup that he’d hypothetically be looking for.
St-Pierre vacated the UFC middleweight title in early December citing health issues stemming from colitis, which he attributes to have contracted due to a combination of gaining weight to compete in the middleweight division and stress.
Marquardt announces retirement
Former Strikeforce welterweight champion and UFC middleweight title challenger Nate Marquardt has called it a career at age 38.
Marquardt fought on the first-ever UFC Fight Night card and the last Strikeforce card over the course of his 18-year mixed martial arts career.
He finishes his career with a 35-19-2 record, but ended his career on a sour note by winning only three of his final eleven fights with the UFC.
He is the only fighter to defeat current welterweight champion Tyron Woodley inside the distance.