November 14th, 2015 will go down as one of the biggest night's in both UFC and MMA history, as we saw David beat Goliath, when Holly Holm shocked the entire sports world with her second round finish of Ronda Rousey.
Going into UFC 193 Ronda Rousey had the aura of an immortal; someone who seemed truly too big to fall. Holly Holm entered that fight an underdog of epic proportions, finding herself with nothing to lose, and absolutely everything to gain. Fights like those often bring out the best in a fighter. When they don't feel that pressure or expectation of winning, they will find themselves in a more relaxed and confident position, because they know they have the capability of pulling off that win that everyone else thinks is such a distant hope, and all it takes is the slightest underestimation from their opponent, and the fight can change in an instant.
What we saw from Ronda heading into UFC 193 was disheartening. We experienced drama from the Rousey camp that we had never experienced before. She was hot-headed, vocal over her distaste for Holly, and dealing with the growing rift between her mother and her coach. On fight night, it was clear that Ronda was not herself, and it was even more clear that she never once gave Holly the slightest chance of winning.
Just moments into round 1 it became clear to the world that Ronda Rousey was not going to steam roll Holly Holm like she had so many other opponents. What made Ronda's dominance so noteworthy was the ease and quickness that she was able to finish her opponents with. Her brute force, bull-rush style of fighting had allowed her to dominate women for years - until now. Holly Holm, being a former World Boxing Champion, used every bit of her kickboxing to counter Ronda's bullish style. Every time Ronda rushed in, Holly was firing back with a clean counter, and as Ronda was lucky to escape the first round, fans across the world couldn't fathom what they were seeing.
Just 1 minute into the second round, the MMA world stood still for a moment in time, as Holly Holm threw a beautiful left headkick, and sent Ronda Rousey to the canvas for the first time in her UFC career. The rest, as we know, is history.
So what has changed in the year since this fight? Well we learned that the Women's Bantamweight Championship belt can't seem to find a permanent home in the wake of Ronda's epic title reign. We've also seen Holly Holm fall from the top of the fight world, losing to Miesha Tate and Valentina Shevchenko in her last two bouts, and at 35 years old, her future is very uncertain. Finally, the biggest thing we learned, and that has changed over these past 12 months was that we got to see who Ronda Rousey truly was. She was exposed in the fight game, and let that trickle down and effect every single aspect of her life. She ran. She hid. But now - she is back, and she has a chance to re-write the history books, and once again establish herself as the greatest female MMA fighter ever.
Holly Holm shocked the fight world in 2015 in a way only Buster Douglas had done before, by dethroning The Goliath that ruled their ring.