Even the best fall sometimes.
It has happened to the greatest – Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Tiger Woods, and other big-named sports superstars who at one point in their decorative careers have tasted defeat.
Ronda Rousey has been added to the list.
In what is the biggest upset in UFC 193 – and perhaps the whole organization, the women’s bantamweight champion suffered her first loss after former boxing champion Holly Holm unleashed a kick that sent Rousey crashing to the mat.
The upset came at just 59 seconds of the second round. Rousey ducked, and Holm saw an opening to land a left head kick straight to the jawline, the “stunner from Down Under,” that downed Rousey and rendered her unconscious.
The referee, Herb Dean, immediately stepped in to stop the fight as Rousey, with her arms limp, was motionless on the canvas.
Holm, with a 10-0 win-loss record entering the match, frolicked inside the cage as Rousey was being given medical attention behind the loud roar of the stunned crowd at the Etihad Stadium.
“I had so much love and support I just thought, ‘How can I not do this?'” Holm said from the ring. “This right here is priceless.”
Rousey, a former judo Olympian, was unbeaten through 12 UFC fights before her head-to-head battle against Holm. A win would have been her seventh title defense.
“I have to say that everything that we worked on presented itself in the fight. Every grab that she tried to get and clinch on the cage, and I just had help with everything,” said the newly-crowned women’s bantamweight champion. “I have not spent this much time in the gym before any fight of my life.”
Rousey did not appear in the post-fight news conference.
According to UFC president Dana White, Rousey had to be taken to a nearby medical facility for further treatment.
White also said that a rematch between Holm and Rousey would make “a lot of sense” and that other potential matchups will be put at the backburner for the meantime.