The mixed martial arts (MMA) world was handed some somewhat shocking news when Ronda Rousey revealed she would be fighting undefeated contender Holly Holm in the main event of January 2’s UFC 195.
It was largely thought that a third bout with former Strikeforce champ Miesha Tate was ‘Rowdy’s’ next stop, which, as a third bout with an opponent that she’s already stopped twice before, served as a segway to her highly anticipated showdown with Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino; potentially at next July’s massive UFC 200 from the MGM Grand’s brand new arena in Las Vegas.
But title shots are far from guaranteed in the fight game, and the promotion decided that a bout with the rising Holm was a fresher and more beneficial alternative for the rapidly growing throngs of Rousey fans. A former boxing champion, ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ undoubtedly holds a pure striking edge over Rousey, and most likely the entire women’s 135-pound division for that matter.
However, Holm’s performances in the UFC, despite being two wins, could only be described as a bit tentative and lackluster as she eased herself into the bright lights of the octagon. She looked a bit better in her second bout, a UFC Fight Night 71 win over Marion Reneau in July, than she did in her close debut victory over Raquel Pennington, but even Holm insisted that she had a long way to go before facing Rousey based on her most recent showing.
It’s no secret that the Jackson-Winkeljohn product has been groomed for a bout with Rousey ever since she entered MMA, but her grappling is obviously light years behind Rousey’s, and the champ’s striking appears to be advancing quickly as well. Taking that into account, was it too soon to match her up with the undisputed queen of women’s MMA, or was the timing just right?