Striking coach Mike Winkeljohn likes Holly Holm’s chances against Cris Cyborg.
Cris Cyborg finally got her taste of UFC gold when she stopped Tonya Evinger in round three of their title fight at UFC 214 two weeks ago. Her first challenger was up in the air for a moment, until she herself called out former bantamweight champion Holly Holm for UFC 219 the company’s year-end card in Las Vegas.
The fight has yet to be finalized, but renowned striking coach Mike Winkeljohn is already liking the idea for his fighter.
“I think Holly can pick her apart. There’s no doubt about that,” Winkeljohn told Submission Radio. “What people don’t understand is how strong Holly is too in the clinch, on her feet and moving and stuff. Cris is definitely going to try to do most of her damage by pushing her back against the cage. You know, good luck keeping Holly there and backing her up, coming in that hard. But yeah, Cris is really strong, but I think Holly wears her down and is able to stop her.”
“You look at Holly’s knockout percentage, I think her and Amanda Nunes are the biggest out there. She stops all of her fights, everybody else other than Cyborg. So Holly has the power to stop Cyborg just like Cyborg has the power, the difference is Holly’s got speed and her footwork.”
As for the match-up itself, Winkeljohn’s main concerns are the fight contract, Holm moving up in weight, and Cyborg being free from any performance enhancing substance, which had been a problem in the past.
“You know, Holly’s always been better when she’s had the short-notice fights, so it’s not a time thing. I think I would like to see Cris be clean for a long period of time and there’s no doubt she has been busted in the past,” Winkeljohn said.
“But with that being said, it’s just what’s right for Holly right now at this time in her career and the Cris Cyborg fight may or may not be the right fight. So it depends on money, where it’s at and if we have enough time to put on a little bit of weight to fight Cris Cyborg.”
Holm is coming off a knockout win over Bethe Correia in the main event of UFC Singapore back in June. The fight marked a return to 135 after she’d lost to Germaine de Randamie for the inaugural featherweight title in February.