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    HomeSportMayra Bueno Silva surprises Holly Holm by submission, eyes title shot

    Mayra Bueno Silva surprises Holly Holm by submission, eyes title shot

    Brett OkamotoESPN Staff WriterJul 16, 2023, 01:18 AM ET2 Minute Read

    The UFC women’s bantamweight division is in need of new blood following the recent retirement of dominant champion Amanda Nunes — and it seems to have found it in Mayra Bueno Silva.

    Silva (10-2-1) submitted former champion Holly Holm (15-7) via standing guillotine choke in the second round of their UFC Fight Night main event on Saturday. The finish came after Holm, 41, left her neck exposed while attempting to take Silva down along the fence. Silva pounced on it and forced Holm to tap without even taking her to the floor.

    The 31-year-old Brazilian fighter went on to call out Julianna Peña for the vacant 135-pound title.

    “I do what I say I’m going to do,” Silva said. “I want that belt. I deserve it. Nobody finishes like me. Hey, Julianna Peña, let’s go. I deserve this, you deserve this, the people deserve this. I’m the new face. I finish fights and give a show to everybody. This is my belt. This is Brazil’s belt. I’ll do this for Amanda Nunes, for my country, for everybody.”

    It was the biggest win of Silva’s UFC career — and possibly the biggest single setback of Holm’s.

    Holm went into the headliner at the Apex in Las Vegas as the UFC’s No. 3-ranked bantamweight. Given her high rank and name value, a win might have catapulted her to a UFC title fight. Four of her previous six UFC losses came in title fights, and with the departure of Nunes from the sport, Holm was poised to take a serious run at the title very late in her career.

    The former boxing champion struggled to implement her game plan on Silva, however. Holm worked Silva to the fence early in the fight and looked to set up short knees and punches to the body, but Silva seemed unbothered by the offense. Once Silva broke free of Holm’s grip, Silva was clearly the more powerful striker. She tagged Holm with a left hand coming out of the clinch in the first round and followed it with a hard right elbow.

    Silva has finished her past three opponents and is now tied with No. 2-ranked bantamweight Raquel Pennington for the longest active win streak at four in a row. She also tied the great Ronda Rousey for the most submission wins in women’s bantamweight history with three.

    The UFC has not announced any concrete plan for the bantamweight title, which has sat vacant since Nunes’ abrupt retirement last month. Silva joins Peña and Pennington as obvious candidates for the opportunity.

    Holm falls to 1-2 in her past three appearances.

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