So we finally have a main event for the season ending UFC219. Cris Cyborg vs Holly Holm have signed to headline the event. The UFC have struggled to put the finishing touches to this card for a while. Obviously Dana White was trying to get Tony Ferguson vs Conor McGregor contract signed but ran out of time.
I see the ABC president was quoted as saying that the UFC pulled Conor from UFC219 due to his Cage antics at Bellator187. I would say that is rubbish and not the real reason. McGregor is not just notorious in the ring he’s notorious in contract negotiations too.
There will be a lot of pent up interest in seeing Cris Cyborg in the ring again regardless of the opponent. It is great that her opponent is as proven a warrior as Holly Holm but it will be interesting to see if this fight and UFC219 sells as a Pay Per View event.
Have a quick glance below at the card and you’ll see that the UFC are depending on her to sell UFC219 on her own with a little help from Holly and perhaps a little more from Khabib Nurmagomedov. However as we know from past experience Khabib has trouble making the 155 lightweight number. So don’t expect any early buys from his end of things until he has made weight and maybe more importantly doesn’t damage himself physically doing so.
Holly Holm Record
Holly Holm is an interesting proposition at this stage of her career. She has had an incredible career as a boxer, kickerboxer and ultimately as mixed martial artist. Her shock knockout of Ronda Rousey is still the highlight of her career. To be fair most of us would settle for that type of highlight reel knock out.
But has she progressed as fighter since that fight?. I think the answer there is a solid No. She rattled off 3 consecutive losses since winning the bantamweight championship. You could make an argument that she deserved more from the Germaine De Randamie fight, as many felt that the winner should have been docked points for end of round punches after the bell, But let’s not beat around the bush Holm didn’t look great that night.
Holly is coming off a win though after beating Bethe Correia at the UFC in Singapore last June. The one thing with Holly Holm you cannot deny is – you will get a standard of performance that will test any opponent. So the question really remains what kind of shape is Cyborg really in?.
Her last fight really tells us little. Tonya Evinger was coming straight up from Invicta for a shot at that vacant featherweight title. Tonya has fought at bantamweight for the majority of her career with the odd 140 catchweight thrown in here and there. Let’s call a spade a spade here the UFC Featherweight division was created largely FOR Cris Cyborg. So it was a decided advantage to be fighting a bantamweight for a feather-weight title.
I am in shock at how badly the UFC have got this new weight division off the ground. It has been literally limping along since it was set up. I have written previously on this so I won’t bore you any further on the subject.
That is not to say UFC219 Holm vs Cyborg doesn’t have the potential to be a great fight. However it would have probably been an even better fight 18 months ago when possible both fighter were closer to their athletic peaks.
I would expect Cyborg to win on a decision, she is not naive enough to walk into one of Holly’s baseball bat leg kicks. But there is enough intrigue in this match up to make me want to tune in. Plus I am very interested to see how Nurmagomedov is coping in the post Tiramisu age.