Matches to Make After UFC Fight Night ‘Holm vs. Correia’

By Brian Knapp Jun 17, 2017

Karma, if you believe in such things, jumped up and bit Bethe Correia in the rear end.

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s bantamweight titleholder Holly Holm wiped out the Brazilian with a third-round head kick and subsequent left hand in the UFC Fight Night 111 main event on Saturday at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. Holm finished it 69 seconds into Round 3, as she registered her first win since her shocking upset of Ronda Rousey in November 2015.

If the result itself was not embarrassing enough for Correia, it was made more so by the fact that she elected to taunt “The Preacher’s Daughter” mere moments before the knockout blow connected. After a slow start by both women led to admonishment from referee Marc Goddard, Correia resorted to urging Holm forward with her hands down. Soon after, she was seated in the center of the cage trying to regain her faculties.

In the aftermath of UFC Fight Night “Holm vs. Correia,” here are five matches that ought to be made:

Holly Holm vs. Amanda Nunes-Valentina Shevchenko winner: Outside of the crestfallen Rousey, Holm remains the bantamweight division’s most recognizable star -- a fact that could speed up her pursuit of another title shot. Her performance against Correia figures to erase much of the doubt that surrounded her after back-to-back-to-back losses to Shevchenko, Miesha Tate and Germaine de Randamie, the latter in a failed bid to secure the inaugural UFC women’s featherweight crown. Now back at 135 pounds, Holm is again trending in the right direction. Nunes will defend the bantamweight championship in a rematch with Shevchenko at UFC 213 on July 8.

Marcin Tybura vs. Mark Hunt: Tybura strengthened his case as a top-10 contender with a unanimous decision over Andrei Arlovski in the co-main event. Owning a decisive victory over a former UFC champion can only boost one’s stock, even if Arlovski is a shell of his former self. Tybura has pieced together a three-fight winning streak since his Octagon debut ended in a disappointing unanimous decision loss to Timothy Johnson in May 2016. The Polish upstart is a rare commodity in today’s MMA world: a relatively young heavyweight with low mileage on the odometer. Hunt last appeared in the UFC Fight Night 110 headliner on June 10, when he cut down Derrick Lewis with fourth-round punches in Auckland, New Zealand.

Colby Covington vs. Kamaru Usman: Another young fighter on the rise, Covington continued to distance himself from a December 2015 submission defeat to Warlley Alves by claiming a unanimous decision over Dong Hyun Kim. The onetime NCAA All-American wrestler and current American Top Team prospect has rattled off four consecutive victories against increasingly difficult opposition and appears primed to make a move at 170 pounds. Usman, who won Season 21 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” has gone a perfect 5-0 since entering the UFC a little less than two years ago.

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Gunnar Nelson-Santiago Ponzinibbio winner: Dos Anjos left behind the lightweight division for what he hopes will be greener, more palatable pastures at 170 pounds. If first impressions are any indication, he made a wise move. Dos Anjos had no issues in his welterweight debut, as he earned a three-round unanimous decision over onetime Strikeforce champion Tarec Saffiedine. The victory snapped a two-fight losing streak for the Brazilian and allowed him to gain a foothold in a new weight class. Nelson will face Ponzinibbio in a UFC Fight Night main event on July 16 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Bethe Correia vs. Katlyn Chookagian: Stock in Correia took a nosedive courtesy of Holm’s left head kick in the main event. Since starting her professional run with nine consecutive victories, the 33-year-old Pitbull Brothers rep has gone a disappointing 1-3-1 in five appearances. Her only win in that stretch resulted in a split decision over Jessica Eye at UFC 203. Correia may never again challenge for the women’s bantamweight crown, but she could prove to be a solid and valuable gatekeeper for the UFC. Chookagian last competed at UFC 210 on April 8, when she was awarded a split verdict against Irene Aldana in Buffalo, New York.

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