Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm turned in a dominant performance against Yana Santos.
The women’s bantamweight bout was the UFC on ESPN 43 co-main event at AT&T Center in San Antonio, and it was one that Holm (15-6 MMA, 8-6 UFC) shined on the mat and in the clinch. After 15 minutes of dominance, judges turned in scores of 30-26, 30-27, and 30-27.
Santos (14-7 MMA, 4-4 UFC) came out aggressive and put Holm against the fence early. The pro-Holm crowd poured in a number of chants for the former champ as she attempted worked through multiple first-round clinch positions. In space, both fighters landed their share of strikes, but it was mostly a round of wrestling. With 30 seconds remaining, Holm completed a takedown to end the round in top position.
A side kick from Holm knocked Santos to the ground early in the second. A few moments later, Holm got a big takedown which was well-received by the San Antonio crowd. Holm spent the next few minutes hunting for submissions from side control.
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With just under a minute to go, Holm secured a crucifix and began raining down strikes. Santos was able to get her arm free, but Holm took full mount and continued to land until the horn sounded.
In the first minute of the final round, Holm had Santos on her back again. Once again, Holm was dominating on the mat as she landed punches and searched for submissions. With about 90 seconds to go, Santos worked her way back up and got free, just to be taken down again to end the fight.
Holm successfully rebounded from a split decision loss to Ketlen Vieira. Aside from two of the three official judges, many believed Holm won that fight. However, the official result snapped a two-fight streak of wins over former title challenger Raquel Pennington and Irene Aldana. The former bantamweight champ recently signed a new eight-fight deal with the promotion, and has her sights on one more run at the title.
On the other side, Santos falls to .500 in her UFC career. In her previous bout, she lost to Irene Aldana in the first round, which came after back-to-back wins over Julija Stoliarenko and the aforementioned Vieira.
Up-to-the-minute UFC on ESPN 43 results include:
Holly Holm def. Yana Santos via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Nate Landwehr def. Austin Lingo via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 4:11
Maycee Barber def. Andrea Lee via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Albert Duraev def. Chidi Njokuani via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Daniel Pineda def. Tucker Lutz via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 2:50
Lucas Alexander def. Steven Peterson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Trevin Giles def. Preston Parsons via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
CJ Vergara def. Daniel Lacerda via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 4:04
Victor Altamirano def. Vinicius Salvador via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC on ESPN 43.