Ronda Rousey‘s reign as UFC champion ended with a fist repeatedly smashing her cover-girl face, her nose and mouth bloodied, as she lay helpless on a mat before a referee saved her from further punishment.
Rousey was shockingly knocked out by challenger Holly Holm, who dominated for a second-round victory at UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday.
“I’m trying to take it in, but it’s crazy,” were Holm’s first words in her post-fight interview, adding later, “Everything that we worked on presented itself in the fight. Every kind of grab that she tried to get.”
Rousey fell to 12-1 as a professional MMA fighter and lost her UFC bantamweight title at Etihad Stadium.
Two men put their hands on the biceps of the 2008 Olympic judo bronze medalist and helped her sit up near the middle of the Octagon seconds after the bout ended after 5 minutes, 59 seconds total. One, wearing gloves, cleaned Rousey’s blood off her face and chest.
Once Rousey stood to her feet, she looked motionless, save heavy breathing, staring down as the referee held both fighters’ arms and, upon the announcer’s call, lifted Holm’s right hand to declare her the winner.
Holm dropped Rousey to the mat in the second round with a left kick to her neck and seized the opportunity with multiple punches to Rousey’s face before the referee mercifully stopped the fight.
In the first round, Rousey also suffered multiple punches to her face, her nose clearly bloodied. Holm also took Rousey down to the mat late in the five-minute round.
Rousey’s previous three fights ended in 34 seconds, 14 seconds and 16 seconds, respectively.
Holm, 34 and a former kickboxer and World champion boxer, ran toward the Octagon with a 9-0 record dating to 2011. She was UFC’s seventh-ranked challenger to Rousey in the bantamweight division.
Rousey, 28, said before the fight that she “would like to wait until UFC 200” in July in Las Vegas to next fight, according to Rolling Stone, and film movies during that break.