UFC 196: Meisha Tate beats Holly Holm
In a calculated assault, challenger Meisha Tate disturbed, blunted and finally strangled the champion Holly Holm unconscious, to be crowned the new UFC bantamweight champion at UFC 196.
The fight lasted until the fifth round but the telling blows came early on. Holm edged the first round through her stronger offense, with Tate defending and focusing on looking for takedowns.
Round two was Tate's as she took down the champ with a rear-choke hold - Holm managed to defend against it for almost a minute and finished the round, but the move clearly upset her and shaped her strategy for the next two rounds.
Rounds three and four saw Holm trying hard to defend against further takedowns while getting her kicks in. Tate looked content to defend, take a hit and keep looking for an opening.
The fifth round brought considerable urgency to the fight, with Tate forcing the issue and taking a few hits, including a left straight to the face.
And then came the killer blow - Tate's takedown got Holm on the floor, but she managed to get back up. Tate was ready and applied the rear-naked choke, and held on as Holm fell backwards to try and defend.
Unlike round two, there was no coming back. Holm was unconscious, and Tate was crowned the new UFC bantamweight champion.
With Rousey still unable to fight due to media commitments until late 2016, will Holm get a re-match with Tate, or will UFC pair each fighter with someone else? UFC 200, due to be held this summer, will not go without a major women's title fight - and whether UFC likes it or not, Rousey will have to wait.