Sarah-KaufmanThe main event of UFC 193 is a bantamweight title fight between UFC champion Ronda Rousey and former boxing champ Holly Holm. Rousey’s stock has never been higher, as she has now become a superstar across the globe due to her success in the cage and at the box office. Holm, on the other hand, has underwhelmed in her first two UFC appearances and enters this fight as a huge underdog.   Ronda Rousey (12-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC, -1900 favorite) Rousey has become the biggest star in mixed martial arts. Her huge drawing power on pay-per-view and at the box office has led to her getting huge movie roles. One may think that spending so much time on outside projects would limit her ability to train hard for her upcoming fights, but that has not been the case at all. Rousey is looking to defend her title for the eighth straight time this Saturday in Melbourne, Australia. Rousey’s skills are sensational and she seems to get better every time we see her fight. Her judo credentials are well-known to anyone that follows the sport. She uses hip tosses, trips, and throws to get her opponent to the mat, which is her wheelhouse. The ground is where Rousey does most of her work; she is a master there. Her transitions are fast, fluid, and can catch her opponent before they even realize what is happening. Once she establishes top position she immediately looks to pass, she never lays on her opponent to try to steal a decision. Instead, she passes her opponent’s guard and immediately looks to lock in a submission. Rousey’s deadliest weapon is her trademark armbar, which she has used to end nine of her 12 career wins. The typical gameplan against Rousey is to keep her at a distance and attack her from the outside with punches and kicks. However, that is much easier said than done. Rousey closes the distance so fast and before you know it you are in the clinch, which is her wheelhouse. Further, she is no longer a fish out of water on the feet. Her boxing may not be perfect, but she has heavy hands and is not afraid to get hit in order to get inside. Rousey’s boxing coach has done a great job of improving her boxing in such a short time. She can string together combinations from the head to the body and vice-versa quickly. Rousey used to be known as the armbar queen but three out of her last four victories have come via knockout. Her opponents have to pick their poison when fighting her.   Holly Holm (9-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC, +1200 underdog) Holly Holm is one of the most decorated female boxers of all-time. She held multiple world championships in boxing, but vacated them in order to pursue a career in mixed martial arts and eventually fight Ronda. Holm’s first two appearances in the Octagon were not very impressive, she almost lost to Raquel Pennington and her second win was against a 38-year old gym teacher. Holm’s hype has cooled down considerably since then. Holm, obviously, is a striker by trade. Fighting out of a southpaw stance, she unleashes fast straight left hands that she follows up with left kicks to the head and body, which have been responsible for a few knockouts when she faced opponents in regional bouts. Holm will have to use those kicks to try to keep Rousey off of her because if she gets within punching distance Rousey will be able to get her hands on her. Holm’s technique is good for mixed martial arts, but I wouldn’t say it’s great. She seems to get extremely nervous before her fights and I question how she will perform in front of 75,000 fans and millions more watching across the globe. Additionally, she has been knocked out twice in her boxing career, and that was with 16 ounce gloves, not the 4 ounce gloves she will be using on Saturday. We have not seen her go to the ground yet, which is due to the quality of competition she has faced. Holm may be in a world of trouble if she finds herself on her back. Cardio and endurance do not seem to be a problem for her, so going five rounds (if it gets there) should not be an issue.   Thoughts I know some people are buying into the hype that Holm will be able to keep her distance and run away from Rousey for 25 minutes, but I just don’t see it happening. Nobody has proven they can hang with Rousey in any area, and I expect that to continue here. Holm shouldn’t have been thrown into this fight right away because she is just not ready. Once Rouse takes her to the ground I have a strong feeling she will get tapped out really quickly. I think that happens here. They will strike for 30 seconds or so, Rousey will get the clinch, toss her to the ground, and then finish her from there.   The Prediction: Ronda Rousey defeats Holly Holm by armbar (round 1)


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