Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm managed a late head-kick knockout in Friday’s UFC Fight Night 111 headlining match against Bethe Correia. That knockout after long stretches of avoidance by Holm, and she later said that was her plan going into the match, recognizing that the Singapore crowd would boo her for the initial strategy. Even referee Marc Goddard had to warn both fighters for inaction at the end of the first round. The strategy eventually paid off when Correia began taunting Holm in the third round, impatiently asking for a response. Holm found her moment and launched a match-ending kick, allowing her to clinch her first victory since the biggest upset of 2015, when she knocked out reigning champion and UFC superstar Ronda Rousey.
“If I was training to fight me, I’d be like, ‘OK, she has a left kick. Let’s watch out for it.’ It’s one of those things, just that competitive side of me that thinks, ‘You know it’s coming, but I still want to hit you with it,’” Holm said when talking about her mindset going into the match. Between the Rousey bout of 2015 and the defeat of Correia, Holm had lost three straight fights, including a defense of the women’s bantamweight title and an opportunity to clinch the inaugural women’s featherweight title. As Holm put it, she needed to keep reminding herself why she got into fighting in the first place to keep her motivated: “I started fighting because I love it and I’m passionate about it, and that was the reminder here. I’m going to be me. I’m the one who’s getting in there and fighting, anyway.” After the victory, she was joyful, and joked when asked about what’s coming up in her schedule, “I see a beer and some French fries.”