Although Demetrious Johnson’s quest for MMA history will be postponed, Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko are good to go this time. It’s a rematch between two of the top women in the sport right now, with the UFC bantamweight title on the line. Another former UFC champ, Holly Holm, knows exactly what it’s like to be in Nunes’ position. In July of last year, Holm tested Shevchenko’s toughness and lost a decision to the Polish striker. It’s one of the reasons she is picking Shevchenko over Nunes tomorrow at UFC 215.
“I think Amanda Nunes is a very tough girl; Valentina [Shevchenko] is far more technical. I think everyone knows Amanda likes power shots, and Shevchenko is a lot more technical. I think Shevchenko can take the belt away. Anything can happen in a fight. Don’t get me wrong, but I think Shevchenko can do it.” — Holly Holm speaking to MMA Junkie.
“Valentina’s really tough. We knew that. We knew [about her] counter-punching, clinch, trips, all that. It’s not like I haven’t been taught the right things. It just all comes down to my performance and it wasn’t great tonight. I’ve never in my career, whether it be boxing or MMA, ever felt like I’m at the top because I know they’re always someone else aspiring to be the best. […] I want to feel like I’m up against the best and I know these girls are tough. That’s what makes a win great and a loss devastating.” — Holly Holm at the UFC on FOX 20 post-fight press conference.
After losing three fights straight as well as her UFC bantamweight title, Holm finally got back on the winning side after knocking out Bethe Correia. She’ll most likely be watching this fight closely, considering she could always be a couple of wins away from challenging for the bantamweight tbelt again. That does depend on which weight class she chooses to compete under. After all, Cris Cyborg needs a challenger to defend her featherweight title against.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/8/2017.