Holly Holm was fired up to fight tonight.
Looking more solid, chiseled, and focused than ever, The Preacher’s Daughter again and again stymied opposing bantamweight Pennington’s takedown and escape attempts using the clinch and pure muscle. Pennington was capable of landing a few body shots and knees inside the clinch, but couldn’t prevent Holm’s reversals or dominating pressure. Wearing down Pennington against the cage for two consecutive rounds, Holm went into the third ahead on the judge’s cards.
The UFC’s narrative for Holm vs. Pennington was “rematch,” putting the pair back center cage for the first time since UFC 184 back in 2015. The split decision victory Holm won led her to famously face a then-untouchable Ronda Rousey, while Pennington dropped to 5-5 with a difficult climb ahead of her.
Holm told Joe Rogan in tonight’s post-fight interview she was somewhat disappointed with her performance, wishing she had “accomplished more” in the clinch and striking less than she intended. She restated her desire to become champion again, a title she lost to Amanda Nunes.