Now that Holly Holm is scheduled to fight UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg at UFC 219 on Dec. 30 live pay-per-view (PPV) from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, the mixed martial arts (MMA) universe can begin to speculate if “Preacher’s Daughter” can upset the Brazilian like she did Ronda Rousey two years ago.
While Holm is certainly going to have her work cut out for her against a fighter like Cyborg, who hasn’t tasted defeat since her first professional fight in 2005, those around MMA are giving her a good chance to win. One of the more qualified names backing Holm is none other than ex-opponent and former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Miesha Tate, who choked Holm unconscious back at UFC 196 to claim the title.
“Of anybody that I can think to fight Cyborg to right now, that has the best chance, I honestly, truly believe that it’s Holly [Holm],” Tate told MMA Tonight on Sirius XM Rush. “The reason I say that is, if Cyborg cannot get a hold of Holly, if she recklessly chases her down — similar to how Ronda [Rousey] did, not using the correct angles — if she follows her like a missile, which she does in every fight I’ve ever seen before. That’s how she hunts girls down because she can. With Holly, that’s not a good idea. She can cut through those angles. She’s an amazing counter striker and if she lands that head kick, I think she can put anybody away. So stylistically, this makes for a really, really interesting fight.”
Remember, Holm burst onto the MMA scene when she torched Rousey via second-round knockout back at UFC 193. Entering that contest Holm was tasked with overthrowing the “greatest female fighter of all time.” This time around, she’ll look to do the same, as Cyborg has taken over Rousey’s spot atop women’s MMA ever since “Rowdy’s” recent implosion.
As long as Holm is able to follow a strict gameplan like she did against Rousey, Tate believes “Preacher’s Daughter” can avoid Cyborg’s strengths and pull off the upset next month in Las Vegas.
“If Cyborg gets a hold of her and throws her down to the ground, obviously Holly’s in trouble. She’s in big trouble,” Tate explained. “But I can truly attest to how amazing Holly’s footwork is and just how difficult she is to get a hold of, how hard it is to do that. You really have to throw everything to the wayside just to try to grab her. I think I got two takedowns on her in our five rounds and I’m smaller. I think I’m a little speedier than Cyborg is even. Cyborg’s really, really strong but she’s not necessarily the fastest woman in the world. She doesn’t tend to shoot a lot out in the open so I think to press Holly against the cage or to overwhelm Holly is going to be a difficult task, I really do.”
Considering Holm has lost three out of her last four Octagon appearances, including an inaugural UFC women’s featherweight title fight opposite former champion Germaine de Randamie, this may be the last time she gets an opportunity to fight for UFC gold.
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