November 12, 2015

You Can't Go Holm Again: Despite Her Record, Holly Holm Doesn't Stand a Chance Against Ronda Rousey At UFC 193

By Adam Martin

Armbar. Armbar. Knee to the body. Knockout via punches. Straight armbar. Knockout via punches.

That is how UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey’s first six UFC fights ended. All in her favor, of course, and all except for one ended in round one. To say Rousey has been exceptional in the Octagon is an understatement. The 28-year-old American has beaten Miesha Tate, Sara McMann, Liz Carmouche, Cat Zingano, Bethe Correia, and Alexis Davis. Striker, wrestler, submission fighter – it doesn’t matter what her opponent’s style is, because Rousey have proven she can beat them all. But that doesn’t stop the UFC from throwing opponents at her, hoping someone other than Tate can give the champion a fight longer than a round

This weekend, Rousey faces Holly Holm in the main event of UFC 193. The UFC is hoping to break the all-time attendance record -- 55,000 fans at UFC 129 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada -- with a 70,000-seat sellout at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. And they’ve tapped Rousey and Holm to do it. Ultimately, while fans are there to see Rousey, they’re there for a good fight.

Will Holm give it to them? Will the fight even be competitive?

At first glance, no. Yes, Holm is a former world champion boxer, and her kickboxing game is elite for the female divisions, plus she trains at Greg Jackson’s under striking coach John Winkeljohn, but based on Holm’s performances in the UFC, it appears this is another favorable matchup for Rousey, with the betting line reflecting that as Rousey is a 19-to-1 favorite.

While Holm is still undefeated in her career at 9-0, including a 2-0 mark in the Octagon, the truth is she has underperformed in the UFC. In her promotional debut, Holm fought a durable Raquel Pennington and barely snuck out with a split decision win. In her sophomore UFC debut, she fought and defeated Marion Reneau via unanimous decision, but it was far from impressive.

Although she was knocking out opponents with head kicks on the regional circuit on the way to the UFC, the 34-year-old American has been disappointing overall since coming to the UFC, appearing tentative and unwilling to unleash her knockout power against both Pennington and Reneau. Sure, it was enough to beat those two fighters, but to beat Rousey Holm needs to get a stoppage, and that just doesn’t appear to be feasible.

Rousey has amazing takedown ability, and while Holm generally has solid takedown defence, rest assured Rousey will take her down if she gets the chance, and probably get a quick finish on the ground. For Holm to win, she has to keep this fight on the feet and get a knockout, because the odds of her using her at-range kickboxing game against Rousey for 25 minutes seems slim.

The odds of Holm getting a knockout, though, seem even slimmer. Holm is a very good MMA fighter in her own right, but when compared to Rousey, it’s night and day. The ground game is obviously Rousey’s for the taking, but based on her last few outings with her improved striking, to ignore Rousey’s knockout potential in this fight would be foolish. While Holm is the “striker” heading into the matchup, Rousey is actually the fighter more likely to get a stoppage in this matchup on the feet, crazy enough.

There is a reason Holm is a 12-to-1 underdog in this fight. She’s a good fighter, but she was rushed by the UFC into this title shot, and she’s not ready. She simply does not have the grappling ability to stop Rousey’s submissions, and on the feet she’s vulnerable too. So while the UFC is selling this as another “undefeated fighter” against Rousey, the truth is this is another mismatch, one that Rousey is likely to win in impressive fashion as her star continues to rise and Holm’s fades.

If you’re buying the PPV this weekend, or thinking about buying it, just know this is a showcase fight for Rousey. Nothing more, nothing less. Let’s hope Holm is at least durable before she ultimately is stopped, though, because you know it’s coming.

UFC 193
Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm (UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship)

Click the stars to rate your anticipation for this fight.


UFC 193: Rousey vs. Holm (formerly UFC 193: Lawler vs. Condit) takes place on November 14, 2015 at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Click the stars to rate how good you think UFC 193 will be.


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