Holly Holm will face Brazilian Bethe Correia in Singapore on June 17. Pix source: ufc.com

SINGAPORE: American fighter Holly Holm, who knocked out top mixed martial arts fighter Ronda Rousey in her prime, will headline UFC’s return to Asia in June, organisers said Thursday.

In a statement, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) said Holm, currently number five in its rankings, will take on Brazilian Bethe Correia, the number 10, in Singapore on June 17.

“After winning an impressive 10 straight fights with seven knockout finishes through 2015, Holm will look to bring back the heat in Singapore,” UFC said.

Holm, a former world boxing champion, knocked out Rousey in November 2015 with a kick to the head, breaking the winning streak of UFC’s first female champion despite being a massive underdog.

Rousey said she was distraught after the defeat and had briefly contemplated suicide, staying out of the ring for over a year.

She tried to make a comeback last year but was defeated by Brazilian fighter Amanda Nunes.

The Las Vegas-based UFC is making a return to Asia after a 19-month hiatus in a bid to gain a foothold in the birthplace of martial arts.

UFC has made a concerted push to enter the Chinese market throughout 2014, holding two shows in the Chinese city of Macau and producing a season of its signature reality TV series “The Ultimate Fighter” featuring Chinese contenders battling for a UFC contract.

Asia’s MMA market has been dominated by Singapore-based ONE Championship, which claims 90 percent of the region’s market share. --AFP

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