In case you didn’t know it, Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm was the first fighter in mixed martial arts to give then 12-0 “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey a loss in the sports, doing so with a highlight reel head kick and ground n’ pound striking to capture Rousey’s UFC women’s bantamweight (135-pound) championship. By the time she faces steps into the octagon to face Brazil’s Bethe “Pitbull” Correia this summer, that win (Holm’s most recent victory to date) will be been winless for over a year and a half (581 days) if she loses on June 17.
Holm lost her title just three pay-per-view events later at UFC 196 to Miesha “Cupcake” Take, being put to sleep by way of a rear-naked choke only for Tate to lose it herself by way of the same move against current champion Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes in a bout that served as the (back-up) main event of UFC 200 in July of last year.
Holm also competed in July, losing via a unanimous decision against current title challenger Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko as the headliner of a UFC Fight Night event in Chicago (see the almost immediate drop in value?) Following a third consecutive defeat at the hands of Germaine de Randamie for the inaugural UFC women’s featherweight (145-pound) strap, Holm is going back to 135 for the scuffle with Correia desperate to prove she’s anything but a one-hit wonder.
Fortunately, the oddsmakers at Bovada favor her against her opponent (Rousey’s last victim on her initial tour of destruction during the development of the women’s bantamweight division) as Correia was knocked out by Rousey in just 34 seconds in front of a crowd of her home-country fans. As of May 20, Holm is the -500 favorite with Correia as the +350 underdog ahead of their collision, which is set to be the UFC’s first-ever event held in the nation of Singapore.
Are the oddsmakers wrong? Not really.
While “Pitbull” hasn’t done much better than Holm since her own loss to Rousey, she has at least one win on the books recently against Jessica Eye at UFC 203 last September. However, the win came courtesy of a split decision call and does serve as the only shining part of a 1-1-1 record between the Rousey fight up until March of this year (the record includes the win over eye but also a loss to Requel “Rocky” Pennington immediately following the one to Rousey as well as her draw with Marion Reneau around two months ago.)
As far as numbers are concerned, the two women are fairly even with similar records of 10-3 and 10-2-1 respectively. FightMetric LLC shows that while Correia may be a better striker, landing 4.74 Significant Strikes per Minute to Holm’s 3.08 with better accuracy than Holm (46 percent to 34 percent,) she takes more damage by suffering 4.08 Significant Strike Absorbed per Minute while Holm suffered just 2.65 and they are both dead-even in striking defense at 59 percent.
On the grappling side of things, neither woman is a real threat as the both average under one takedown per standard 15-minute bout, average 18 percent (Holm) and 25 percent (Correia) in takedown accuracy, both have a submission average of zero, and the only highlight is in their takedown defense (85 percent for Correia and 78 percent for Holm.)
Holm might win this fight standing up given her boxing and kickboxing history (winning two IKF kickboxing belts and too many boxing titles to list along with going 33-2-3 in while amassing a total of 16 title defense that span across three weight divisions.) Although, even as a boxer she only had nine knockouts to her credit.
Right now, on the part of the former champion, she seems to be suffering from a mental block but also plateauing as a competitor with only two options left after her failing effort at 145 pounds: the new UFC women’s flyweight (125-pound division or hanging up her four-ounce gloves and the underdog agrees.
Correia told MMAFighting.com late last month,
“She takes another fight and ends up risking her career. I think that, after I win, it will depend on how they will take care of her career. If they don’t take good care of it, she might retire early. It depends on her head and how people around her will take care of her.”
The native of Natal, Rio Grande do Norte went on to basically describe Holm as decent at best in the octagon while also point out the obvious. To date, Holm has been a one-trick pony (as some may feel Rousey was.)
“(Boxing) is her main weapon, but it’s mine, too. I always believe in my hands and I’m not afraid to stand against anyone, not even her. I have heavy hands. I have more punching power, I’m strong. If I decide to trade with Holly, it will be a tough fight. But I’m a MMA fighter and I can fight anywhere, too. A striking contest between us will be really interesting. I want to beat Holly Holm because people talk about me defeating a top-five (opponent), and I think this is the moment to show my striking qualities against a top ranked opponent.”
Don’t expect fireworks from these two, but if this fight does make its way onto the Monster Energy Drink logo-covered canvas, Holm is obviously in trouble (not much, but some) as Correia should, at least, know more Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu than her present opponent.
Also, while we all have Holm’s boxing titles to refer back to when discussing her striking prowess, those 16 title defenses across three weight divisions haven’t really done anything for
her accept to create great promotional material and videos during the build-up to her fights, so as far as we all know, Correia could get the KO, having the classic “puncher’s chance.”
A win of June 17 could save Holm’s job in the UFC. Still, perhaps it’s time that everyone stop being nice to the likable combatant and admit that her best days were during her time in boxing and that while, everyone seems to have a base style of fighting, she simply came in unprepaired for the hybrid sport of MMA.
For the record, there is nothing wrong with being the one-hit wonder that stopped the freight train that was Ronda Rousey. Holm has etched her name in history forever by doing that and with that came championship gold–the highest ambition in sports that an active competitor can achieve. Maybe it’s just time for her last performance.
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