Photo Credit: Fightsday.com
In case you don’t know or in the event that you are not a big combat sports fan, fight fans are about to witness an amazing main event at UFC 219. The last card of the 2017 year features a bout that is several years in the making. The fight is being promoted (and rightfully so) as a contest featuring the scariest woman in the UFC (Cyborg) vs the most dangerous woman in the UFC (Holm). The credentials and resumes that both women carry into the contest are, shall I say, lofty. Cyborg has been an MMA champion at each and every organizational pit stop in her career. Holm is an 18-time world boxing champion but most know her as the woman that created the beginning of the end for Ronda Rousey. The truth is that this is a huge monumental moment for the sport of mixed martial arts, the UFC, and last but not least “Women’s MMA”. For those of you that don’t know the history between these two that have led us the fight fans to this prolific moment let me tell you.
The UFC introduced the Bantamweight division (135lbs) back in 2013. Ronda Rousey was the face, but lurked in the shadows was Cris Cyborg a woman that has destroyed everyone in her path and in the process retired the first face of women’s mixed marital arts Gina Carano. The true mega fight was always Cyborg vs Rousey. Unfortunately, or shall I say fortunately that fight never came to fruition.
Cris Cyborg fought in Strikeforce and Invicta as the World Featherweight Champion (145lbs) but being that Cyborg has always carried a ton of muscle mass she had great difficulty in her attempt to get down to 135 lbs. So much so that she had to create catchweight bouts for herself throughout her career. Then the best news came not only was Cyborg signed by the UFC but the worlds leading MMA organization told the world that they would be adding a women’s featherweight division. Meanwhile, the face of women’s MMA in the UFC Ronda Rousey was reeling from a highlight reel knockout from the left foot of Holly Holm.
It all leads us to this moment.
While Holm has had some up’s and down’s since her thrilling knockout vs Rousey she still remains one of the top pound-for-pound female fighters on the planet. Cyborg is at the top of that list. We are literally witnessing the two best women that the sport of Mixed Martial Arts has ever seen. In an era where the term “super-fight” has become a constant, this is an actual case where we are seeing the two best and the two biggest names. Can Holly Holm shock the world again? Can Cyborg stake her claim as the greatest female fighter of all-time? Who will get knocked out? All of those questions will be answered come December 30th. I can’t wait. Not only is this a great main event but this fight will put women athletically where they belong: on an equal playing field. Promoted for their ability rather than their differences.
Prediction: I see this fight going so many different ways but I mainly see it going down like this. Holly Holm is the far more technical fighter she is rangy she has great kick’s and times her distance very well by using her footwork to create openings in her opponent’s guard. The first two minutes of the contest will be the toughest as Cyborg will be coming into the cage to knock her out and take her belt back to Brazil. If Holly can avoid the rush of Cyborg it could be her fight from there on out. One dynamic that needs to be acknowledged is the fact that Holm doesn’t have the best takedown defense and Cyborg is a BJJ black belt. If Cyborg takes this to the mat she can win it easily but I don’t believe she is looking to put forth a safe solid performance. Cyborg is coming for the knockout and I think that puts her at a disadvantage versus the elusive Holm. I see Holm becoming the first female in UFC history to win two belts in two different weight classes putting her all alone in elite company and cementing her legacy as the greatest female fighter of all-time. Owning wins over Rousey and Cyborg.
Holm by knockout in the 2nd round