Will Holly Holm Snuff Cris Cyborg Like She Did Ronda Rousey?

    Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm is known for disrupting the narrative. You know, the type to come through unassuming and John Starks-dunk on a Michael Jordan out of nowhere kind of athlete that you can always count on to bring it.

    Remember, she’s the fighter that dethroned the once dominant, unbeaten, and at one time virtually iconic “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey in only her third UFC fight. The beat-down was epic and only took two short rounds to deliver the head kick heard around the world that sent Rousey on her spiral into obscurity.

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    Holly Holm completed what some are calling the greatest upset in UFC history when she knocked out Ronda Rousey in the secon round at UFC 193.

    Holm’s win did more than deliver her a UFC women’s bantamweight gold strap and the respect of all worldwide, it also opened the door for women boxers who sought more money, opportunity, and a larger platform to shine on into the rank and file of various MMA rosters. As a multiple-time world champion in three different weight classes, Holm was widely considered one of the best boxers of all time and also dabbled in kickboxing as well. 

    Still, nothing cemented her stardom like her win over Rousey in Melbourne, Australia in late 2015.

    Intriguingly, although Rousey had the fame, the truly most feared female MMA fighter has always been Cris Cyborg. Her lone loss came in her first professional MMA fight back in 2005. Since then, she has always been the one to beat, even though Rousey’s reign and the weight class difference was the only thing that stymied that pairing (Cyborg fought at featherweight). 

    However, the women’s MMA ranks have swelled and their champions are prominent enough to command the main event of the end of year show for the UFC. With Cyborg currently holding the UFC women’s featherweight strap, Holm has set her sights on dethroning her in a true striker’s dream matchup at UFC 219 on December 30th.

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    If the numbers are to be believed, Holm doesn’t have a good chance at this effort. Cyborg has knocked out her last eight opponents of which former Strikeforce champion Marloes Coenen was a victim and she picked up the inaugural Invicta FC featherweight strap, which she defended three times before jumping into the UFC. The last big fight like this for Cyborg was when she fought the first women with Rousey hype in Gina Carano back in 2009, whom she knocked out at the tail end of the first round.   

    Did I mention that Cyborg has also been training with 2x Olympic gold medalist and current women’s boxing champion, Claressa Shields?

    UFC 219 Free Fight: Holly Holm vs Bethe Correia

    Holly Holm bounced back with an impressive finish of Bethe Correia at Fight Night Singapore earlier this year. Holm faces featherweight champion Cris Cyborg in the main event of UFC 219 on December 30, live on Pay-Per-View. Subscribe to get all the latest UFC content: http://bit.ly/2uJRzRR Experience UFC live with UFC FIGHT PASS, the digital subscription service of the UFC.

    Although Holm defeated Bethe Correia in June, she snapped a three-fight losing streak where she lost the UFC women’s bantamweight title and the inaugural UFC featherweight title. Holm has been knocked out twice in boxing and once in kickboxing but never in MMA, and would love to stay that way. But a fight like this is set up for someone’s lights to go out.

    When Holm steps into the Octagon on Saturday to challenge Cyborg for her title, the real New Year’s fireworks will be inside the cage. And just who will light the match is anyone’s guess. 

    Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. RhettĀ hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.