UFC 193: Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm Features Women's Title Fights in the Co-Main Event and Main Event for the First Time in History
Who will win in this instant classic UFC fight - Ronda Rousey or Holly Holm? After picking a few major upsets throughout the year like Rafael dos Anjos over Anthony Pettis, or Francisco Trinaldo over Chad Laprise at UFC Fight Night 74, both were better than 3-1 underdogs – I have been told I should start documenting picks for those who read my blog to follow my predictions and thoughts on upcoming UFC events.
I have missed the opportunity to blog about many big fights throughout the year but there is no time like the present to start, so why not start with what will be the biggest UFC in history (to date) - UFC 193: Rousey vs. Holm November 14, 2015 from Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Victoria Australia.
Dana White, President of the UFC says more than 70,000 fans will fill the stadium to see women’s title fights headline and co-headline a pay-per-view for the first time in UFC history. The predicted 70,000 fans will eclipse the previous the previous record by more than 15,000 fans, currently held by UFC 129 – St. Pierre vs. Shields from the Rogers Centre in Toronto in Ontario, Canada.
So, as the UFC makes history with its first stadium show, which is also headlined and co-headlined by two female bouts – I also begin to create a “picks” history on JustMaxFitnessNutrition.com. Enjoy! Feel free to comment your thoughts below on whether you agree or disagree.
The Fight Picks
Jared Rosholt +120 vs. Stefan Struve -140
The first fight on the pay-per-view card features a heavyweight tilt between “The Big Show” Jared Rosholt and Stefan “The Sky Scrapper” Struve. Although this bout doesn’t appear to have title implications for any time in the near future, this could still be a very entertaining fight and a great tone-setter for a history breaking card.
Stefan Struve is nicknamed the sky scrapper because he is a 7 foot tall, beast of a man. He is coming off one of his best performances to date with a decision win over the legendary Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 190. Prior to that victory, Stuve was on a two fight skid so he needed to get back in the win column.
“The Big Show” Jared Rosholt is not quite as big as “The Skyscrapper” but he will be a game opponent come fight night. A decorated American wrestler Rosholt currently holds a 13-2 professional record and is riding a two fight win streak.
Prediction: Anyone that knows me know I am partial to American wrestlers (unless they are battling Brazilian Jujitsu Practitioners) and I do like the value in Rosholt over the Danish kick boxer Struve. I stated earlier that Struve is coming off his best performance with a win over a legend of the sport, but that was also over an aging legend that is clearly on his way out of the sport. Rosholt however is also a young guy of the sport (only 29) and I think he’s an up-and-comer in the division. As a 3 time all-American wrestler and a national runner up in 2010 from one of the most prestigious wrestling schools in the country (Oklahoma St), Rosholt is going to be able to use Struve’s long legs to his advantage and score easy takedowns. Struve is a kick boxer and will want no part of Rosholt on the ground. Rosholt wins via ground and pound or UD with numerous takedowns.
Uriah Hall -115 vs. Robert Whittaker -105
Uriah Hall from TUF 17 fame as a finalist and his devastating spinning hook kick KO of Adam Cella in episode 3 is coming of the most impressive victory of his career. Hall recently finished Gegard Mousasi with a flying knee (and follow up punches) in the second round of their co-main event fight at Fight Night 75 in Saitama, Japan. A winner of 5 of his last 6 fights, Hall is always an exciting fighter to watch and this fight shouldn’t be any different.
Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker is one of the few Australians on the card and truth be told I don’t know much about the guy. With a 14-4 professional record fighting in his home country he will certainly have the drive to put on the fight of his life. Expect fireworks in this one!
Prediction: Honestly, this one is pretty easy for me. Three of the four losses that Whittaker has are against guys I don’t know too much about (and I watch more than a fair amount of Mixed Martial Arts), and seeing Uriah Hall’s fantastic stoppage of Gegard Mousasi just a month and a half ago, in a fight that he was clearly over matched – one should never count out “Primetime” Uriah Hall! With the odds of the fight basically at a “pick’em” status, give me “Primetime” in primetime via KO/TKO.
Mark Hunt -255 vs. Antonio Silva +215
Mark “The Super Samoan” Hunt is sure to be a fan favorite in this fight hailing from nearby New Zealand. Hunt has amassed a 10-10-1 professional record since his debut in 2004 and most would certainly consider him a journeyman fighter or a gate keeper, but having for the UFC interim Heavyweight title in November of last year (in a loss to Fabricio Werdum), Hunt has certainly fought the who’s who of the heavy weight division. Hunt always puts on an exciting fight, going to only 4 decisions in his 21 fights. Currently riding a 2 fight losing streak, look for Hunt to be in a little bit of desperation mode and come out swinging.
Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva will have to fight in front of a hostile crowd in this fight and that may be the reason why the odds are stacked so far against him in this fight. Silva is also a heavyweight who has fought for the title (a loss to Cain Velasquez in 2013) and has fought the who’s who in the heavyweight division. Most recently Silva beat Australian Soa “The Hulk” Palelei to snap a 2 fight skid in August look for that to garner some additional boos.
Prediction: These two fighters fought to a draw back in 2013 and I think this is going to be another close fight. However this fight will almost certainly not end in another draw. The odds seem to be clearly stacked against “Bigfoot” with Hunt fighting so close to home and Hunt fight with desperation (coming off of two losses). But if you analyze common opponents between the two fighters, they both certain have lost to some of the same guys but Antonio Silva has beat the likes of Fedor Emelianenko and Alistair Overeem, where Hunt lost to both of those guys. Silva wins via KO/Sub.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk -2150 vs. Valerie Letourneau +1300 for Strawweight Title
Joanna is currently 10-0 in her young mixed martial arts career and is only the UFCs 2nd strawweight champion in history after beating Carla Esparza at UFC 185. Joanna has only been tested in 1 fight up to this point, earning a split decision victory over Claudia Gadelha. Joanna is a tough and knows what it takes to remain champion having defended her title once already this past June. Joanna is going to be tough to beat, but anything can happen in a fight.
Valerie has quietly won three straight fights in the UFC’s strawweight division, (4 in total) to earn herself a title shot with a modest 8-3 record. If one were to analyze that record a little deeper, it would show that two of her three losses have come to former title challengers in the woman’s bantamweight division (135 lbs, 20 lbs larger than her current weight class). And her 3rd loss had also come to Claudia Gadelha (who Joanna beat by razor thin split-decision). I think that the nickname of “Trouble” will hold true for Letourneau and she will be a lot more to handle than both Jedrzejczyk and the odds makers expect.
Prediction: Many in the mainstream media and the general public feel that it should be Gadelha in this title fight and that Letourneau had not yet earned her way into the title picture. Although I agree that I would rather see Gadelha vs Jedrzejczyk, Gadelha was not available due to injury. And I disagree that Valerie hasn’t earned her sot at the title. I certainly think she has because of the level of opponents she has fought. I am just not seeing why the odds are so high for Joanna Jedrzejczyk. If you placed a $100 bet on her in Las Vegas, you would only see a return of $4.76 (as explained in this article on MMAJunkie.com. With all that said, I can’t bet against the champ, but Valerie has more than a punchers chance. Jedrzejczyk via decision
Ronda Rousey -1700 vs. Holly Holm +1100 for Women's Bantamweight Title
If you haven’t heard of “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey in the last 5 years you might be living under a rock! Rhonda has become the superstar of superstars. Not only has she changed Dana White’s mind about women in the UFC, she’s also starred in prominent movies like Entourage, the Expendables, and the Fast n Furious franchise. The Judo bronze medalist owns a perfect 12-0 record with all wins coming by finishes, no opponent has brought her past the third round. Rhonda’s last three fights have gone a total of 68 second inside the octagon, she is seemingly unstoppable!
Enter Holy Holm! Holm is a former world boxing champion who took up mixed martial arts because there seemed to be nothing left t prove in the world of boxing. She held numerous titles between 140-154 lbs. Holm has also started her mixed martial arts career with great deal of success with a 9-0 record to begin her career. Because of her boxing pedigree she is easily regarded as the best striker in the women’s bantamweight division, and maybe in the UFC period. Her first two wins in the UFC have been less than stellar however; two decision-wins after amassing 6 of her 7 wins before the UFC with devastating knockouts. Many believe that Holm will be a tough test for Rhonda, if she can keep it standing.
Prediction: The UFC has had many striker vs. grappler match-ups in the past, but few with the caliber striker like a world champion boxer. Back in August of 2010 at UFC 118 the co-main event saw Randy “The Natural” Couture take on World Champion boxer James “Lights Out” Toney. Toney was able to talk his way into the UFC saying “the UFC has never had a striker like me.” Couture stepped up to the challenge, avoided a few punches at the start of the fight, ducked under, took Toney down, and worked his way to a fight ending choke 3 minutes into the first round. I see the Rousey-Holm fight going much of the same way. Rousey stand up is good, (as she showed in a first KO against Bethe Correia), but her standup just isn’t on the same level as Holm’s. Ronda will avoid a few early strikes look to close the gap, complete a Judo throw, and take Holm down. Ronda wins via first round armbar!