Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight newcomers Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie will battle over the inaugural women’s 145-pound championship TONIGHT (Feb. 11, 2017) at UFC 208 inside Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Not many find themselves in a title fight after a pair of consecutive losses, but that’s precisely how the former Bantamweight champ got to this bout. Now in her first fight at pounds, Holm has a second chance to achieve greatness. De Randamie is not exactly in a position one would expect to earn a title shot, either. She’s averaged just one bout per year since 2013 and has yet to beat an opponent with a single UFC win, but she’s still receiving a shot at the new strap.
In short, these athletes have received a shot at the strap because of their excellence in other professional combat sports. Either way, let’s take a look at the keys to victory for both fighters:
Key Wins: Ronda Rousey (UFC 193), Raquel Pennington (UFC 184), Marion Reneau (UFC Fight Night 71)
Key Losses: Miesha Tate (UFC 196), Valentina Shevchenko (UFC on FOX 20)
Keys to Victory: Holm is a former world champion boxing and brings solid striking into the cage with here. Despite that boxing experience, Holm does her best work with kicks, maintaining plenty of range and working with bursts and counters.
Opposite a fellow striker, Holm shouldn’t have to worry much about the takedown.
The distance Holm will want to keep in this match up is pretty obvious. From the outside, Holm can avoid the clinch and work her kicks, that gives her the best possible chance of success. Her kicks are sharp, as Holm’s counters opposite a foe looking to land in the clinch are proven.
Until the fight actually happens, it’s not clear who will be able to win exchanges at range. However, Holm can help herself out by keeping a very high pace, as Holm’s conditioning is perhaps her greatest asset.
If she can wear de Randamie down, Holm can take over in the championship rounds.
Germaine de Randamie
Key Wins: Julie Kedzie (UFC on FOX 8), Anna Elmose (UFC Fight Night 87), Larissa Pacheco (UFC 185)
Key Losses: Amanda Nunes (UFC Fight for the Troops 3)
Keys to Victory: A former kickboxing and Muay Thai champion, de Randamie has shown very solid striking throughout her short UFC career. In her last two bouts, de Randamie has also managed to bring her power into the Octagon, as she scored both of her career knockouts in those fights.
Unlike Holm, de Randamie is pretty comfortable from all ranges. She’s a smooth kicker, can punch hard from within the pocket, and is particularly brutal from close range in the clinch.
With that in mind, de Randamie can comfortably strike from range and the pocket with the end goal of moving into the clinch. An expert striker like de Randamie isn’t going to run forward face-first like Rousey did, so the chance of being countered is significantly lower.
If she’s unable to close the distance, de Randamie can take a page from Shevchenko’s playbook and wait patiently, trading kicks with Holm. Holm is uncomfortable leading, meaning that de Randamie will have openings to land her own heavy counter punches.
Bottom Line: Like it or not, it’s for a UFC title.
Unless Holm wins this bout, her status as a UFC contender and immediate future are in jeopardy. She’s not going to be released — it would be pretty hilarious if UFC let go one of its three Featherweight women — but it’s hard to still be considered a top fighter after a trio of losses. Alternatively, Holm is a champion! With Cris Cyborg likely suspended, it’s pretty impossible to know who her next challenger will be. At any rate, it’s safe to say the stakes are pretty high for “Preacher’s Daughter.”
As for de Randamie, her situation is a bit different, but the consequences are similar. Unlike Holm, de Randamie was a complete unknown to casual fans until this match up. If she loses, she’ll sink back into that territory quickly. With a win, however, de Randamie will quickly become a name fighter. She’s already got a large following in the Netherlands, but a big win in a title fight over a well-known athlete like Holm could propel her to new heights.
TONIGHT at UFC 208, Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie will duel in the main event. Which striker will leave the cage strapped with gold?
Source:: mma mania