Melbourne, Australia hosts UFC 193 and the most dominant mixed martial arts practitioner on the planet, the women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey (12-0).
The card appears stacked from top to bottom and features a co-main and main event with UFC gold on the line. First the women’s strawweight strap is up for grabs when Joanna Jedrzejczyk (10-0) attempts to keep her record unblemished and successfully defend her title against Valerie Letourneau (8-3).
Immediately after, Rousey enters the Octagon for the eighth time as the UFC women’s bantamweight champion versus the also undefeated Holly Holm (9-0).
Both champions are heavy favorites at -2000. Those odds reflect the probability of victory is greater than 95% for both Jedrzejczyk and Rousey. Though most are confident the former shouldn’t have much of a problem retaining her title, some believe probability may be defied in the latter. At least according to the betting market as bookmakers have seen some money being wagered on the underdog, Holm.
No opponent has even been able to truly challenge Ronda Rousey as evident by the fact only one of her ten bouts has gone to a second round. She was the first U.S. Citizen, male or female, to win a Judo World Championship, and she also took home a bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics. Since then Rousey has evolved into much more than a dangerous grappler and submissions fighter, she’s become a top pound for pound mixed martial artist.
The champion continues to improve on her stand-up skills and striking game, becoming extremely well rounded and extremely efficient no matter where the fight takes place. Simply put, we have yet to see anyone find or exploit any weakness to date. More importantly Rousey continues to improve with every bout and become more technically sound.
Against Holm, we should expect Rousey’s chin to be tested a few times since the challenger is without a doubt the division’s most accomplished boxer. Holm has held several boxing world titles throughout her professional career and many have regarded her as the greatest female welterweight of all time.
In 2011 Holm hung up her boxing gloves and made her MMA debut. Since then, she competed in Legacy Fighting Championship and Bellator, ultimately signing a multi-fight deal with the UFC in 2014. Holm won her first two bouts under the UFC banner by way of the judges’ scorecards, and Saturday marks only her third UFC fight.
Defense has shown to be Holm’s greatest asset to date within the UFC. She’s been able to avoid 100% of her opponents take-down attempts, while also avoiding 69% of their strikes. That elusiveness will be key against Rousey, who wants to get close to opponents and lock them up in the clinch.
The main concern is whether Holm has the offense to beat Rousey, since the goal is to win and not simply survive.
Through my research and information gathering I have not been able to conclude Rousey’s chances of winning excede 95% against Holm...something I’d need to do in order to back my opinion that she’ll ultimately be victorious in this bout with my money.
Instead I will see what the price is for “Total Rounds” and if high enough, I will look to the UNDER as I do not expect this fight will last as long as some are predicting. Ronda is just too accomplished.
Vegas-Runner is a professional bettor/handicapper featured on CNBC, ESPN, FOX, Yahoo, CBS This Morning, The Herd, JT the Brick, & More. Follow VR on Twitter @Greek_Gambler, and at the home of the Animals, Phillygodfather.com. Contact Vegas Runner at [email protected].