Holly Holm hadn't lost since 2004 and was finally starting to get the attention of the casual fight community. With her successful debut in mixed martial arts in 2011, a win over top contender Anne Sophie Mathis could have broken Holm onto the mainstream sports radar. The two fighters met Friday night at Route 66 Casino in front of a raucous crowd of Holm supporters. What started out as a back and forth war, turned into Mathis hitting Holm with heavy shots that left the crowd in stunned silence. Despite Holm taking a extreme amount of damage in round six, the referee refused to stop the fight and left Mathis to finish Holm off with a brutal knockout. With the loss, Holm's MMA career may take a backseat as she is most likely to seek a rematch. With trainer Mike Winklejohn backing her, this loss shouldn't define her career as Holm processes the ability to rebound and continue her success in whatever combat sport she chooses.
Two Team Jackson Fighters fought on the national stage on “The Ultimate Fighter” season finale. Bantamweight John Dodson has been on the radar of MMA fans with his appearance on the Tapout reality series. Since his run to the finals, Dodson has showed superstar potential with his fighting style and personality. Team Alpha Male's T.J. Dillashaw posed a tough challenge, but Dodson’s punching power proved to be the difference. Despite the early stoppage, Dodson looked impressive and may turn into a future title contender. Diego Brandao looked to upstage his teammate when he fought Dennis Bermudez in the Featherweight final. They delivered perhaps one of the best rounds of the year in a down-to-the-wire fight, Then, during the closing seconds, Brandao nailed a textbook perfect armbar which forced Bermundez to tap immediately. Brandao earned the contract, but Bermundez’ performance shoul guarantee him a spot in the UFC. Brandao proved he's more than one-dimensional with submission skills but will need to improve his conditioning to evolve into a top fighter.
Tim Tebow may be the sports media’s darling, but he's also turning out to be a legitimate quarterback. Since Tebow has taken the starting quarterback position, every sports talk show has ran the Tebow topic into the ground. The constant discussion has overshadowed Tebow’s story of overcoming many critics’ doubts about his ability and unconventional style. Despite facing another mediocre opponent, the Minnesota Vikings, Tebow had the best performance of his young career. Two touchdowns and 202 yards passing fueled another 4th quarter game-winning victory. The 35-32 win gives the Denver Broncos a share of the division with the Oakland Raiders. Whether Tebow turns into an elite quarterback really doesn't matter—his grit and ability to win prove he belongs in the NFL.