Ronda Rousey (10-0) has dominated her competition since she first stepped into the cage. All 10 of her wins have been finishes, with only one going past the first round. At times it appears there is no worthy challenger for Rousey’s bantamweight (135) belt in the UFC. The newly-signed Holly Holm (7-0) may be just the kind of opponent Rousey needs to truly test her skills.
Holm has 6 stoppage wins in her 7 fights, and was Legacy FC’s bantamweight champion before jumping into the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization. While Rousey is mainly a ground specialist, Holm prefers to fight standing up. A former pro boxer, Holm compiled an impressive record of 33-2-3 (9 KO) in the ring.
At 32 years of age, Holm is probably a bit past prime or nearing the end of her prime. She has looked excellent so far is her MMA career, but has a limited window to compete at the highest level. Ronda Rousey, by contrast, is just 27. Both women are around 5’8″ and fight at the same weight, so a size advantage does not seem to favor either fighter. The most intriguing aspect of this matchup is standup versus ground game.
If the fight stays on the feet, Holm would certainly have a good chance at picking up the W, though Rousey has improved her striking dramatically in her last few outings. If it goes to the mat, Rousey has a big advantage over Holm. Looking at this potential bout from a distance, I would definitely favor the current champ, but Holm is a deserving adversary. Before she can even think of squaring off with the best in the world, Holm must prove she is “UFC level”.
Many great fighters come over to the Ultimate Fighting Championships and just never quite achieve the same level of success they had in previous organizations. Will Holm be one of these fighters who do not quite pan out? My instincts say she will rise to the occasion and fight her way to the top. Holm, to her credit, realizes she has work to do.
“[Rousey] is the person to beat. There’s a lot of tough girls along the way, and I just want to be able to take it one step at a time and work my way up. I obviously would love to fight for the title, otherwise why would I be doing this sport? It’s one of my goals and my dreams, and I’m just going to keep shooting for it.”
If all goes according to plan, Rousey and Holm with share the cage with each other at some point in the next year. If the fight does happen, I expect Rousey to walk away with her belt after a tough challenge from a tough competitor in Holly Holm.
Can Holm beat Rousey? Let us know.