It’s called a combat sport for a reason.
Friday night, after Albuquerque MMA fighter Holly Holm’s resounding victory over Brazil’s Juliana Werner at Route 66 Casino Hotel, both winner and loser visited a hospital.
Promoter Lenny Fresquez said Werner, who absorbed a fearful beating in losing by fifth-round KO, suffered a concussion and multiple bruises to the legs as a result of Holm’s powerful kicks.
Werner (7-4) was taken to her gate in a wheelchair, Fresquez said, for her outbound flight Saturday at the Albuquerque Sunport.
And the winner?
Holm (7-0), while blocking a kick from Werner in the first round, suffered a broken left arm.
“You should see the X-ray,” Fresquez said Saturday. “The bone is split.
“But at least it’s a clean break (no bone fragments).”
Holm, on Twitter, posted a picture of the X-ray – clearly showing a complete break of the ulna.
“This is what happens when you LAZILY block a head kick,” Holm tweeted. “Arm is feeling OK …. ego not so much.”
A fight tentatively scheduled June 20, a defense of the Legacy Fighting Championship women’s bantamweight title Holm won Friday, is off. Holm will have no contact for about three months, Fresquez said, and isn’t likely to fight again until the fall at the earliest.
Friday, after the fight, Holm spoke casually about the injury.
“In the first round I just did a real lazy check of a kick. … I should have been holding a little better; it was my own fault.”
Gradually, she said, the arm began to swell.
“It kind of gave me problems throughout the fight, so I was trying to avoid using it.”
A BONUS: Holm was awarded a $10,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus by Ready Every Second, a company that specializes in the resale of electricity. RES is branching out into other areas and is in partnership with Legacy Fighting Championship. In December, it signed Holm as a spokeswoman.
A RES commercial featuring Holm aired several times during the AXS-TV telecast of Friday’s card.
POSITIVELY FRIGHTFUL: Broken arm or no broken arm, Holm handed Werner a frightful beating. Nothing in the woefully overmatched Brazilian fighter’s bag of tricks (other than the first-round kick that snapped a bone in Holm’s forearm) had any impact.
Werner, whose background is in Muay Thai kickboxing, several times attempted to secure a Muay Thai clinch, so she could attack with knees to the torso and head. Holm, much the stronger fighter, easily thwarted those attempts.
“I haven’t fought anybody that’s had a lot of Muay Thai experience, with kind of more of that Thai clinch style,” Holm said. “So we did work on it, and I didn’t feel threatened by it.”
Wednesday, at a news conference, Werner had said she was eager to get Holm on the ground – where she rarely goes – and exploit the Albuquerquean’s lack of experience there.
Werner never got to the ground except when deposited there by Holm. The Brazilian never succeeded in catching one of Holm’s kicks and, perhaps fearful of eating a front kick, never dived at the Albuquerquean’s legs in hopes for a takedown.
“I think we kind of kept her at bay by just throwing a lot of front kicks and keeping her there (on the outside),” Holm said. “It’s hard to shoot from that far out, so we just tried to keep that range there, and I think it worked.”
In fact, it was Holm, not Werner, who scored a couple of takedowns. But, in both cases, Holm chose not to follow Werner to the ground. Instead, she stood and threw punches at her fallen opponent.
“If (the fight) was gonna go to the ground, my plan was for it to be on my terms,” Holm said. “And I didn’t want to go out of my way for it, either, because I didn’t know what she wanted to play on the ground.”
SKEPTICS ABOUND: Based on Internet chatter, not everyone was impressed with Holm’s performance against Werner – partly because of the Brazilian’s obvious limitations, mostly because Holm’s ground game continues to be, at best, a mystery.
“(Ronda Rousey) submits her in under one minute,” posted one critic on the MMA website Sherdog. (Cris) Cyborg thrashes her into dreamland and takes away her will to ever fight again. Feed her to whomever, I’m tired of this hype job.”