Former UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm returned to the Octagon for the first time after signing a brand new six-fight contract with the UFC that will likely see ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ stay with the Las Vegas-based promotion until her retirement. Eager to get one more shot at UFC gold, Holm stepped inside the cage with Yana Santos.
Making her first walk to the Octagon in nearly two years, Santos was determined to score the biggest win of her career. A victory that would most certainly move her into the division’s top five.
Yana Santos came out immediately aggressive, throwing a combination before pressuring Holm to the fence and forcing a clinch. They finally separated near the halfway point of the opening round, but after a couple of quick calf kicks, Santos reinitiated the clinch. Holm was able to break free and began to utilize her footwork as Santos continued to be the aggressor. Holm landed a couple of solid push kicks to the face of Santos and ended the round in side control after Santos ate a right hand after rushing in for an attack.
Santos came out with the same aggressive style in the second and quickly paid for it with a push kick to her midsection that sat her down. Holm allowed her up but then followed up with a solid takedown, establishing the top position. She maintained control throughout the remainder of the second, peppering Santos with a series of strikes, elbows, and shoulder thrusts.
Less than a minute into the third round, Holly Holm was able to secure another takedown and easily mounted Santos. Holm spent the majority of the round fishing for a submission and nearly cinched in a rear-naked choke, but Santos was able to get back to her feet and separate with 50 seconds to go. By then, it was too late as Holm moved in and secured her fourth takedown of the fight moments before the final horn sounded.
Official Result: Holly Holm def. Yana Santos via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)