Coach Mike Winkeljohn is confident that Holly Holm can hand UFC featherweight champion Cris Cyborg her first MMA loss since her professional debut when they meet in the main event of UFC 219.
Winkeljohn drew parallels between the Cyborg bout, and Holm’s devastating knockout victory over Ronda Rousey at UFC 193, on the latest episode of Submission Radio.
“You know what, behind the scenes when we fought Ronda we were pretty confident that we had the proper game plan to beat Ronda,” said Winkeljohn.
“Everybody thought we were crazy. Everyone thought Holly was crazy when she first fought Christy Martin back in the early days in boxing because Christy Martin knocked everyone out, and Holly made that look easy.
“And she had what I call that ‘Christy Martin moment’ where Christy tried to throw a punch at her, Holly slipped under and then Christy almost went through the ropes.
“Guess what? Ronda did the same thing, and it’s gonna happen in the Cris Cyborg fight, she’s gonna have that same moment.”
Former UFC bantamweight champion, Holm, will be notably smaller than the Brazilian on Dec. 30. According to Winkeljohn, being the bigger fighter could work against Cyborg as the fight goes on.
Although the veteran coach does predict that the champion will make weight, he claimed that he wouldn’t want the fight to go ahead if Cyborg was unable to hit the scales at 145 lbs unless Holm was given an additional point on all of the judges’ scorecards and compensation.
“Well, you know what, Cris, I’d assume she’s always had to cut a lot of weight to get there and stuff, and there’s always been people looking the other way. You know, I personally think that sometimes fighters don’t make it, and in this case she’s got to make weight cause it’s a world title fight.
“But if she wasn’t gonna make weight, there’s no way I’d take the fight unless the judges gave us a point on everybody’s scorecard. You know, the first round you just lost a point and lost penalty moneywise, it’s just one of those situations.
“But with that being said, I think Cris will make weight. She has to it’s a world title fight. I think she’ll have a little bit more size than Holly that way, but you’ve got to be careful what you wish for, it depends on how long the fight lasts.”
Winkeljohn predicted that Holm would claim a late stoppage over the champion.
“Oh, Holly’s stopping Cris Cyborg probably later in the fight. You know, round four, round five she’s gonna finish the fight, shock the world again.”