It’s a huge fight. A career-defining bout with big stakes. The title is on the line and Holly Holm is the underdog against one of, if not the best women fighter on the planet. Does this all sound familiar? Back at UFC 193, Holm hit the ‘kick heard ’round the world’ on Rousey and earned the biggest MMA victory of her life in front of a stunned audience. Those comparisons aren’t lost on Coach Mike Winkeljohn either. He recently broke down his thoughts on the fight and predicts Holm stops Cyborg to shock the world once again.
“Oh, absolutely [there are comparisons to the fight with Ronda Rousey]. You know what, behind the scenes when we fought Ronda we were pretty confident that we had the proper game plan to beat Ronda. Everybody thought we were crazy, everyone thought Holly was crazy when she first fought Christy Martin back in the early days in boxing cause Christy Martin knocked everyone out, and Holly made that look easy, and she had what I call that ‘Christy Martin’ moment where Christy tried to throw a punch at her, Holly slipped under and then Christy almost went through the ropes. Guess what? Ronda did the same thing, and it’s gonna happen in the Cris Cyborg fight, she’s gonna have that same moment.”
— BossLogic (@Bosslogic) December 8, 2017
“Holly’s stopping Cris Cyborg probably later in the fight. You know, round four, round five she’s gonna finish the fight, shock the world again. Absolutely [Holm isn’t being paid what she’s worth]. No, she deserves much more, but it is what it is. Cyborg’s got the title, Holly doesn’t have a title, so we don’t have all the chips at the moment, and the fight is what’s most important. Beating Cris Cyborg puts Holly back and higher where she will be the, I guess, biggest name ever in women’s combat sports. So she’s gotta win the fight and got to do that first, and then maybe she’ll get paid even more in the next one.” — Coach Winkeljohn speaking to Submission Radio.
Holly Holm did shock the world that day, but unfortunately she went on to suffer three losses in a row after her incredible win over Ronda Rousey. It wasn’t until she met Bethe Correia back in June that she was able to get back into the win column, once again with a head kick knockout. Whether it was the style match-up or Holm was just on her A game that night in Australia, she’ll need to conjure up the same focus and energy against Cyborg. If she can do that, Winkeljohn is right: Just like that, she’ll be the biggest name in women’s MMA with wins over two greatest-of-all-time candidates in different divisions.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 12/15/2017.