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Is Holly Holm Mean Enough to Beat Ronda Rousey?

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(Holly Holm, photo: Steve Snowden)

A Holly Holm and Ronda Rousey matchup would work quite well on paper, but a fight between them might be more lopsided than we think. As Rousey keeps racking up dominant wins against anybody placed in front of her, MMA fans are left scratching their heads as to if there’s anyone who can beat her. One name that continuously pops up is former boxing champ Holly Holm.

Holm is 32 years old, 5’8″ and 135 pounds while Rousey is 27 years old, 5’7″ and a 135 pounds. Holm has a 7-0 record including 6 knockouts since her move to the UFC in 2011. Rousey holds a 10-0 record with 2 knockouts and 8 submissions.

The similarity in career stats and physical stature point to a great match, but Vegas would likely have Rousey as a heavy favorite. One reason might be that Holm seems to lack the anger and killer instinct it will take to beat Rousey. Although Holm may have 6 knockouts, no one trains harder or is as mean as Ronda Rousey.

(Holly Holm, left, delivers a punch to the face of a bloodied Juliana Werner during their match Friday night at Route 66 Casino. Holm won by TKO in the fifth round, photo: Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)
(Holly Holm, left, delivers a punch to the face of a bloodied Juliana Werner during their match Friday night at Route 66 Casino. Holm won by TKO in the fifth round, photo: Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

This is not news to Holm. She recently told UFC.com: “There’s a lot to work on in MMA, and obviously I want to work on armbar defense, not just for Ronda but for all the girls, She (Ronda) is not the only one that has more of a ground game than me, a lot of people do, but obviously she’s the best at it right now.”

In addition, Rousey seems to have a constant fire burning inside her that she is itching to unleash on her opponent. In contact sports, it appears that whomever is maddest will win.

(Ronda Rousey lands a left low kick on Sara McMann,  photo: Isaac Brekken/AP)
(Ronda Rousey lands a left low kick on Sara McMann, photo: Isaac Brekken/AP)

This is different from finess sports like basketball and baseball where anger may not always be beneficial (with the rare exception of a Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan.) Even in football, it depends on what position you’re playing. There are finess positions like wide recievers or kickers who rarely get touched. Then there are running backs and defensive players who expect contact on every play. Successful quarterbacks like Joe Cool or Russel Wilson maintain a level head at all times. Russell Wilson appears half-asleep most of the time as he leaves the anger to his O-line, D-line and Richard Sherman. Being cool or half-asleep in the ring is a good way to get knocked out.

Fighting is not a team game, so the anger can be even more concentrated and have a larger impact on the result of the match. Perhaps anger should be a pre-fight stat along with height and weight because it definitely plays a significant role.

  • Heimdal

    “In contact sports, it appears that whomever is maddest will win.” Yeah this just reaks of contact sports understanding.