Why Holly Holm Is Proof The UFC Needs More WMMA Fighters
Let me start by saying that I respect Holly Holm as a fighter and understand why the UFC keeps booking her for main card fights. With that being said, I find it difficult to watch her continue to get main card headlining spots. I get it, but I don’t get it. Let me explain…
Holm Vs Rousey – UFC 193 – The Head Kick Heard Around The World
Holm used to have star power. The key word is used to. Holly Holm defeating Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 is still to this day one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. Both fighters were undefeated in their MMA career at the time, and Rousey found out real quick what it is like to deal with a legit kickboxer. Holm went on to win via a 2nd round head kick TKO and became a household name. Holm earned the UFC Bantamweight title with the win but was defeated shortly after by Meisha Tate. Rousey on the other hand fought one more time and then decided to retire from MMA and pursue WWE.
Since Defeating Rousey, Holm Hasn’t Had A Dominate Performance Since 2017
When it comes to WMMA fighters need to not only perform, but you need to put on a highlight reel finish. I’m not saying that to be sexist, I’m saying that because casual MMA fans only remember you from your last fight and if it was a boring decision you’ll be easily forgotten. Holm’s last amazing performance was against Bethe Correia on June 17th, 2017. She used her kick boxing skills to finish Correia similar to how she finished Rousey. It was incredible to see Holm use her distance and patience to finish Correia and earned another UFC title shot. After her win against Correia, Holm went on to face Cris Cyborg and lost via unanimous decision.
Holm vs Nunes – UFC 239 – Losing At Your Own Game
Holm faced Amanda Nunes at UFC 239 and was knocked out in the first round via head kick. Not only did it prove that Nunes is one of the greatest of all time, it also showed that Holm needed to reset and start over when it came to her game plan and showcasing her skills. Nunes is one of the best fighters of all time, not just woman fighters, ALL fighters. She is dominant from start to finish and showed that there’s level to the WMMA game. It also should’ve showed the UFC that maybe its time to move Holm down the card instead of co-headline or main event slots. It clearly didn’t though because the UFC booked her against Raquel Pennington at UFC 246 and it became a boring grappling match from start to finish with Holm getting her hand raised.
Holm vs Aldana – UFC on ESPN+ 33 – One Last Shot For Holm
After a grappling victory over Pennington, Holm is now set to headline UFC on ESPN+ 33 against Irene Aldana. In my opinion this will be the last time Holm will headline or co-headline a card if she losses. I’m not trying to be a Holm doubter, and I do enjoy her striking ability and skills, but going against Irene Aldana will be a true test for Holm. Should she lose the fight the UFC will have to think long and hard about what is next for Holm. Truth be told she is 6-5 in the UFC and desperately needs a KO or submission finish to make waves in the division.
The UFC Needs More Women Superstars ASAP
If Holm loses on Saturday in devastating fashion it will shoot Irene Aldana up the ladder in the division and add another WMMA fighter to look out for. The problem is that there is only a handful of dominating WMMA fighters in the entire organization. Nunez, Valentina Shevchenko, Zhang Weili, Katlyn Chookagian, and Alexa Grasso are the only ones off of the top my head that stand out in the entire UFC.
Look at the records of most WMMA fighters and you’ll notice 12-9, 18-8, and 14-9 records. The UFC needs as many young, undefeated (or as close to undefeated) WMMA fighters from other organizations to compete in the octagon as possible. It’s the only way to build a roster and bring in new talent. I commend the UFC for finally realizing the need for Women’s MMA in November 2012, but its time to fill the roster with prospects. The UFC has done a good job of introducing new WMMA talent to the organization, but if Holm loses on Saturday it will be another former UFC superstar fading away, but maybe it will lead to another start shining with a dominant Aldana win.