Albuquerque MMA fighter Holly Holm, treating her former sparring partner like exactly that, defeated Yana Santos by lopsided unanimous decision Saturday on a UFC Fight Night card in San Antonio, Texas.
With the impressive victory, Holm improved to 15-6. Santos, from Coconut Creek, Florida by way of St. Petersburg, Russia, is 14-7.
Holm and Santos, then competing as Yana Kunitskaya, once were teammates at Albuquerque’s Jackson-Wink MMA.
After a competitive first four minutes of the first round, Holm simply dominated — scoring four takedowns and controlling Santos on the ground for most of the fight’s 15 minutes.
The judges scored the fight 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27.
Holm, 41, signed a new, six-fight contract with the UFC with the stated goal of winning back the women’s bantamweight title that she won from Ronda Rousey in November 2015 but lost to Miesha Tate the following March.
Asked in the Octagon after the victory if she had an opponent in mind for her next fight, Holm said she would take the future as it comes.
“Just work hard,” she said. “… That’s all I’ve got to do is keep working hard.”
CERRONE TO THE HALL OF FAME: It was announced during Saturday’s card that retired MMA veteran Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, who lives in Edgewood, will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in July.
Cerrone ranks No. 2 in UFC history in wins (23), second in finishes (16) and first in knockdowns (20).