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Former Champion Holly Holm Outshines Irene Aldana in UFC on ESPN 16 Main Event

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Holly Holm
was not ready to pass the torch just yet.

The former
Ultimate Fighting Championship
women’s bantamweight titleholder
ran literal circles around Irene
in the
UFC on ESPN 16
headliner, where she cruised to a unanimous
decision on Saturday at the Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi, United Arab
Emirates. All three judges sided with Holm (14-5, 7-5 UFC): 50-44,
50-45 and 50-45.

A failure to cut off the cage proved costly for Aldana (12-6, 5-4
UFC), who grew increasingly frustrated as time went on. Holm was
brilliant from a tactical perspective. The Jackson-Wink MMA
mainstay steered clear of the lethal Aldana left hook, attacked the
body with kicks and directed sharp punches at the head. Perhaps
most importantly, she incorporated takedowns in all five rounds.
When the fifth round arrived, Aldana appeared to be overcome by
resignation. Holm struck for another takedown, blasted her with a
head kick when she exited to her feet and uncorked a violent flurry
of punches and kicks to ice her latest victory inside the

Holm, 38, finds herself in possession of consecutive wins for the
first time since she started her career a perfect 10-0.

Unyielding Felipe Outduels De Castro

High-velocity punching combinations and relentless forward pressure
spurred Carlos
to a unanimous decision over
Dana White’s Contender Series
graduate Yorgan De
in the three-round heavyweight co-main event. Felipe
(9-1, 1-1 UFC) swept the scorecards with 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28
marks from the judges.

De Castro (6-2, 1-2 UFC) tried to fight fire with fire but could
not match the Brazilian’s pace, output or impact. Felipe was
quicker on the draw, pushed him backwards for two-plus rounds,
wobbled him with more than one overhand right and zeroed in on the
body with punches from both hands. De Castro bailed on the standup
exchanges in the third round, where he attempted to pin the
Brazil alum to the cage in a series of clock-consuming clinches.
Referee Kevin Sataki was wise to his plans and routinely restarted
the two men at range once the action stalled along the fence.

After a 6-0 start to his career, De Castro has suffered two
straight defeats.

De Randamie Chokes Pena Unconscious

de Randamie
continued her evolution as a mixed martial artist
and put “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 18 winner Julianna
to sleep with a guillotine choke in the third round of
their featured women’s bantamweight affair. Pena (9-4, 5-2 UFC)
lost consciousness 3:25 into Round 3, as she lost for the second
time in three outings.

De Randamie (10-4, 7-2 UFC) dropped the Sikjitsu
standout to a knee with a clean right hand in the first round, only
to see her momentum interrupted by a late takedown. Pena tripped
the decorated muay Thai practitioner to the floor less than 90
seconds into the middle stanza, applied her ground-and-pound and
fished for a guillotine of her own before surviving an attempted
Von Flue choke from the Dutchwoman. “The Venezuelan Vixen” scored
with a right cross-left hook combination to start the decisive
third round, moved into clinch range and changed levels for a
takedown. However, she left her neck exposed in her haste to return
to the mat, and de Randamie laced her arms into the guillotine before her
opponent could respond. Soon after, Pena went limp

The 36-year-old de Randamie has won six of her past seven bouts, a
decision loss to reigning UFC women’s bantamweight and
featherweight champion Amanda
her only misstep.

Phillips Buries Newcomer Else

product Kyler
disposed of organizational newcomer Cameron
with elbows and punches in the second round of their
bantamweight feature. A short-notice substitution for Danaa
, Else (10-5, 0-1 UFC) bowed out 44 seconds into Round
2, the setback closing the book on his six-fight winning

Phillips (8-1, 2-0 UFC) engaged the
Jackson-Wink MMA
rep on the feet in a few early standup
exchanges but did the vast majority of his work on the ground. He
took down Else in the first round, transitioned to advantageous
positions and had him reeling with elbow strikes in the waning
moments. Phillips connected with a partially blocked head kick
after the one-minute respite between rounds, delivered another
takedown and moved to back mount before a merciless stream of punches and elbows
referee Marc Goddard
to intervene.

An emerging threat at 135 pounds, Phillips will enter his next
assignment on the strength of back-to-back-to-back victories.

Unbeaten Todorovic Obliterates Townsend

prospect Dusko
kept his perfect professional record intact and
looked dominant in doing so, as he put away Dequan
with punches in the second round of their middleweight
showcase. Still winless inside the Octagon, Townsend (21-12, 0-4
UFC) succumbed to blows 3:15 into Round 2.

Todorovic (10-0, 1-0 UFC) broke down the
Murcielago MMA
export with body-head combinations in the first
round, pursued him in the clinch and eventually pinned him to the
fence with a ferocious volley of punches. He struck for a takedown
inside the first 90 seconds of the middle stanza, softened him with
ground-and-pound and transitioned from half guard to side control
to full mount without much difficulty. Todorovic unleashed his
hands and threatened the neck, first with an arm-triangle and then
with a rear-naked choke, before he cut loose with a sustained barrage of
punches from the mount to prompt the stoppage

The 26-year-old Todorovic now sports nine finishes among his 10
career victories.

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This article first appeared at Recent News on

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