Holly Holm shocked the world when she won the UFC title. But after dropping three straight fights, is “The Preacher’s Daughter” on the chopping block?
It has been more than a year and a half since Holly Holm vanquished Ronda Rousey, shocking the world and bringing to the most electrifying run the sport has ever seen. Since then, “The Preacher’s Daughter” has dropped three straight UFC fights and the shine of her biggest career victory has lost its luster going into her bout against Bethe Correia on Saturday.
Holm became a household name upon winning the title, and in her defense it’s hard to define a pattern for why she’s lost her last several fights. She was ahead in the fight with Miesha Tate before “Cupcake” pulled out a hail-mary finish in the final round. She was out-pointed by Valentina Shevchenko in their bout. At featherweight, she started to slow against Germaine de Randamie lost a razor close decision.
She was ahead in the fight with Miesha Tate before “Cupcake” pulled out a hail-mary finish in the final round. She was out-pointed by Valentina Shevchenko in their bout. At featherweight, she started to slow against Germaine de Randamie lost a razor close decision.
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She is among the most recognizable female fighters in the world. Even after losing the title, her bout with then unknown Shevchenko pulled in the biggest numbers for a FOX card at the time. While that is a testament to her star power, there are a lot of questions as to what could be next if Holm were to lose her fourth consecutive bout.
Three losses are sometimes grounds enough for dismissal, and four losses does not bode well even for a star of Holm’s calibre.
Correia is ranked eleventh in the division and if Holm loses she likely falls completely out of the top ten. Her job may not be on the line, but her days of headlining or co-headlining cards will likely be over with loss.
In Correia, she has an opponent who is in her own limbo in the division. “Pitbull” gained her own notoriety by becoming Rousey’s nemesis in 2015. Despite her moment in the spotlight, she has only one win in her last four fights. The fight against Holm could very well be her last chance to remain relevant in the division. A loss for Correia knocks her virtually out of the rankings and more than likely buts her from the UFC.
Both women have plenty of motivation, but stylistically this is a bout that favors Holm. The former boxer prefers to fight long and use her incredible range. She is comfortable fighting in the center of the Octagon and mixing up her strikes to keep opponents at bay.
Correia prefers to brawl and does her best when she can bully her opponent against the fence where she can explode with powerful flurries. For Holm, the key to victory is to use her footwork to get in and out before the Brazilian can counter with looping punches. In the clinch, it’s imperative that she works her way out of the position so that it does not allow Correia to wear her down and break her rhythm in the stand-up.
The big question is Holm’s confidence going to be a factor in the bout. She is well aware of the situation: she’s been relegated to Fight Pass and is fighting an opponent who is struggling for job security. After three losses, is Holm going to retain her familiar exposure should Correia start to have success. If the bout starts to get away from her, will Holm be able to make the necessary adjustments quickly?
Holm is travelling around the world again for a fight, and circumstances are very different from the last time. She defied expectations that she could achieve the heights that she did years ago. She has to do the same thing again in a different way on Saturday night.