The UFC has announced the signing of Holly Holm which could very well see reasonable UFC odds on the women’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey when the two ultimately tangle in the Octagon.
Who Is This New Kid?
Her name is Holly Holm and she more closely resembles a Scandinavian swimsuit model than a lethal weapon inside the cage. She grew up in New Mexico, daughter of a preacher at a local church and active in athletics growing up. She serendipitously began her journey towards MMA with an aerobics class in the same gym as famed mixed martial arts trainer Mike Winkeljohn. Soon enough the 16-year-old country girl was eschewing aerobics for sparring under the tutelage of Winkeljohn and she took to it like a duck to water.
Fast forward and this 5’8” blonde/blue has racked up 18 world boxing titles in three different weight divisions amongst the plethora of alphabet soup organizations. But after amassing a 33-2-3 record she gravitated more and more towards MMA. Now with seven professional fights in mixed martial arts under her belt she stands undefeated, registering six KO’s in the process.
She added a TKO in the fifth round in her last fight with Juliana Werner to earn the inaugural Legacy FC Women’s Bantamweight Championship but suffered a broken arm as a result from which she is recovering. Once that recovery period is over she will begin her climb through the bantamweight division which will ideally culminate with a shot at the invincible Ronda Rousey and the UFC Women’s Bantamweight belt.
Is She Up to The Hype?
Yes and no. How’s that for taking a stance? Okay let’s see what we’ve got with the lovely Ms. Holly Holm. She’s got hand skills no doubt but she did get KO’ed by the “legendary” Anne Sophie Mathis in 2011 and subsequently avenged that loss six months later in a rematch with a unanimous decision. Speaking of unanimous decisions she’s got 24 of them in 33 victories which doesn’t exactly constitute her as a knockout artist. Keep this in mind when considering her as a possible betting pick.
Now she’s focusing exclusively on MMA where she has recorded a 7-0 record with six knockouts to her credit. But the caliber of competition, setting aside Rousey, at the UFC level in the women’s division is suspect at best, let alone the competition she faced against female fighters who can’t make the jump to the UFC. However, there is one interesting aspect of her record that we should consider. Of her six KO’s in MMA, five of them have been courtesy of her feet rather than her hands. Therefore, we don’t have the proverbial one-trick pony who can throw leather but nothing else. The girl can slam with her kicks and that is food for thought when you entertain the UFC odds in her upcoming bouts.
Can She Defeat Rousey?
Before we ask ourselves that question we should contemplate her chances of defeating the likes of Miesha Tate, Cat Zingano, Sara McMann or Liz Carmouche. This is a woman who, unlike Rousey, was hardly invincible in the sport from which she rose to fame (well, kind of fame). She’s got knockout power but is certainly not a knockout artist and was KO’ed herself in her two losses while drawing three times. Although I am not diminishing the fact that she has 33 victories to her credit and held more belts in boxing than a belt rack at Macy’s, she is not the indomitable force of nature that is Ronda Rousey. But then again who is? The answer is nobody but Dana White is manufacturing the buzz that this Nordic princess has the goods to give Rousey a run for her money.
I’m not buying it and without truly serious ground skills she won’t ever get her chance to tangle with the champ. If Dana White wants this matchup to happen they will have to carefully cultivate a road map which avoids any fights with mat masters (or mistresses in this case) and keeps her undefeated record in check until the day of reckoning when we will be placing our UFC betting picks on whether she gets buried by Rousey.