UFC 193 will take place this weekend in Melbourne, Australia and will be headlined a title fight as Ronda Rousey defends the UFC women’s bantamweight title against former boxing champion Holly Holm.UFC 193 Small

Get ready for the fight card by watching UFC 193 Embedded: Rousey vs. Holm, which premiered this past Saturday on FOX.

One Response

  1. Sandy

    Rousey is in both the fortunate and unfortunate position of being pretty obviously superior to everyone else in her weight class.

    The fortunate side of that is obvious… her clear superiority in the still relatively young world of women’s MMA (at least in the West; in Japan the Smackgirl promotion did fairly well) has meant she has been been able to not only clearly be the best but also build her aura… would she have made such a big impact if her early fights had been her defeating people in the third round or by decision rather than locking in an armbar in under a minute? That success and that aura also mean that her other attributes… she can speak well, is fairly charismatic (and can be very personable) and looks good… can come to the fore and help build her star power, her opportunities outside of MMA and her bank balance.

    The downside is that it’s somewhat difficult to get excited by a Rousey bout as anything other than a spectacle. The closest thing she has to a rival within the division is Meisha Tate… and Meisha’s “success” against Rousey largely consists of lasting almost a round in their first bout and making it to the third in their rematch. At no time in either contest was Meisha ever in danger of actually winning… but when few enough last a minute, let alone a round, surviving that long is enough to make someone a rival.

    Take this upcoming bout. To use the US betting terminology Rousey is about a -1900 favorite… that means to win $100 betting on Rousey you’d need to stake $1900. Holm, an experienced boxer and undefeated in MMA, is between a +1300 and +1400 underdog… that means if you bet $100 you’d win between $1300 or $1400… the equivalent of a 14-1 underdog. And those odds don’t strike me as being too out of whack.

    Holm’s MMA style largely replicates her boxing style. She sits on the outside and then looks to step into range, land a couple of shots and then step back out again, winning on the basis of being quicker, more technical and more conditioned then her opponents (and while there’s more depth to women’s boxing than women’s MMA it’s still not exactly a deep pool). Likewise she doesn’t carry much power in her hands with her stoppages being more due to accumulated punishment, exhaustion and a finishing flurry then one-shot power. Being in MMA allows her to use her kicks and knees and she’s clearly got a pretty powerful high kick… but it’s also badly telegraphed which means it can generally be avoided.

    Rousey isn’t the technical boxer Holm is, but she doesn’t need to be. If nothing else, despite her poor technical striking she probably does hit harder and, as Rousey’s last bout showed, it doesn’t really matter if you get punched a bunch of times in the face if when you land your own punches the other person collapses to the ground. And striking is generally only ever a means to an end for Rousey; she uses it to close the distance, gain the clinch and let her judo skills take over. Holm has shown better takedown defence then many expected over the course of her MMA career… but it would be foolish indeed to think she can consistently stop Rousey from getting her to the ground if they clinch. And when they do get to the ground it’s hard to see Holm surviving for any extended period.

    In a competitive sense the only really interesting match for Rousey that remains is the much discussed bout with Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino. In her own way Cyborg has been just as dominant as Rousey, using pummeling power (a relatively rarity in WMMA) to pummel opposition into submission. And Cyborg has previous when it comes to destroying much hyped and much loved female MMA fighters with good looks and a foot in Hollywood… six years ago she demolished Gina Carano, Rousey’s predecessor as the face of women’s MMA. But Cyborg fights at a higher weightclass, it’s unclear if she even could cut the weight (and what state she’d be in if she did) and a failed drug test still haunts her. Despite fighting for a promotion owned by Zuffa (the UFC’s owners) there haven’t been too many rumblings about the fight ever being seriously considered and I’m not sure there will be even if, as expected, Rousey beats Holm.