This past Saturday in the co-main event of UFC San Antonio, a former world champion made her return. Holly Holm (15-6) made her first appearance in almost a year when she took on the returning Yana Santos (14-7) who was fighting for the first time since giving birth to her second child.
The last time we saw Holm she lost a very bad decision against Ketlen Vieira. She was looking to correct the mistakes in this fight and leave no doubt as to who the winner was. I can tell you one thing, she came in with a point to prove and that’s exactly what she did.
When the fight started, Santos was very aggressive trying to grapple and get the fight to the ground. It looked like the kickboxer had a game plan to negate the footwork of Holm. For the first part of the first round, it looked like it was working. However, Holm turned things around quickly.
After breaking free and getting some kicks off, Holm landed a takedown to secure the first round. The next two rounds featured Holm getting takedowns and just dominating from the top position. When the cards were read, Holm won all three rounds at UFC San Antonio.
Who is next after UFC San Antonio
It was revealed that before the fight, the 41-year-old Holm signed a new deal. The former UFC champion has shown no signs of slowing down and it’s clear that she wants another crack at the bantamweight championship. With this latest win, who should she fight next?
Things at 135 are very fluid at the moment. Amanda Nunes dominated Julianna Pena last year to regain her championship. While Pena has wanted the trilogy, the UFC has seemingly been interested in moving in a different direction. Irene Aldana has been rumored to be the favorite for a title shot.
However, Holm just dominated Aldana a year and a half ago. Then you have Raquel Pennington who is on a winning streak. Pena, Holm, and Pennington have all lost and been dominated by Nunes in those losses which hurts their chances. Aldana would be a fresh opponent which is why she might be the favorite.
Holm has fought Pennington twice and won both fights. There was a rumored bout between Raquel Pennington and Irene Aldana that was supposed to take place but it never materialized. If I’m booking things, Pennington might be the odd woman out at the moment.
I think Aldana is the favorite for the title shot and personally, I’d like to see a title eliminator between Holm and Pena. That’s what I suspect the UFC might be leaning towards as well.