THERE’S no bigger name in MMA than Ronda Rousey – the unbeaten wrecking ball of the UFC who is taking the whole world by storm.
This Saturday, Rousey will look to extend her dominance of the octagon when she takes to the ring in Melbourne, Australia.
Now a global phenomenon, Rousey has transformed the world of the Ultimate Fighting Championship with her impressive ground game and quick finishes.
Former boxer Holly Holm is the next fighter standing in her way.
Holly Holm is an experienced 34-year-old who hasn’t lost in nine MMA fights, but it was her boxing record that has some experts labeling her as a chance.
She won 33 of 38 fights as a southpaw and she won the WBF Female World Light Welterweight Championship title during her career, as well as the 2012 Female Fighter of the Year.
That’s all well and good, but staying upright against Rousey has proved impossible to date and there are huge concerns about how good Holm can be on the ground. Six of Holm’s MMA wins have come by knockout and the other three have come by decision, so the likelihood of Holm winning on the ground seems remote.
Holm should have the advantage standing up, and top boxing trainer Freddie Roach has come out saying Ronda Rousey’s boxing isn’t the best in the world.
“She’s not the best boxer in the world, but she is good,” Roach said.
“She is very competitive and she tries really hard.
“I mean, it’s not probably the best thing she does, I think she is better at the ground game.”
Roach was complimentary of Holm’s boxing credentials, but stated that Rousey’s achievements have overshadowed what could ever be achieved in boxing.
“Holly [Holm] was a good boxer, she beat some good fighters,” he said.
“She does have some good wins, she has 33 wins and maybe three losses. She has a good record. But, female boxing never really caught on like Ronda Rousey has.
“Ronda is just huge right now. The thing is, she knows the ground game so much better than boxing. I like Ronda to win that fight pretty easily.”
We can’t see Rousey letting this fight become a boxing bout, but if Holm has done her research, she should be avoiding a possible takedown at all costs.
Rousey vs. Holm updated betting markets
There has never been much money to be made betting on Ronda Rousey in the head-to-head market, and this fight is no exception.
Rousey is currently and overwhelming favourite to keep her unbeaten professional record in tact and it would take a brave punter to back against her.
Ronda Rousey -2000 @ Bovada.lv
Holly Holm +1000
Bettors that like an upset will enjoy putting only $100 down to win $1000 if Holm can cause the biggest upset in MMA history, but at those odds, it’s probably worth the risk.
Most of the money will come on the Round Betting market as bettors try to predict which round either Rousey or Holm will win in. The current favourite is Rousey to win in Round 1 which has attracted the majority of the early money.
Rousey is currently paying -275 to win in Round 1 and if history tells us anything, that’s a very good chance of happening. If Holm can last more than one round then there’s plenty of money to be made as all the other betting options are at plus-value.
Round Betting market:
Rousey Round 1: -275
Rousey Round 2: +600
Rousey Round 3: +1200
Rousey Round 4: +2200
Rousey Round 5: +3300
Holm Round 1: +2800
Holm Round 2: +3300
Holm Round 3: +4000
Holm Round 4: +6600
Holm Round 5: +6600
Rousey vs. Holm pre-fight quotes
There hasn’t been much said prior to this fight, which leans towards some mutual respect between both Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm.
Holm has stated she admires Rousey and credits her for the increasing success of women’s MMA.
“I admire her [Ronda Rousey],” Holm said. I think she’s done great. I think that every woman in this sport actually owes her a bit of respect because she’s done a lot to help it get to where it’s at.”
Holm has yet to taste defeat in Mixed Martial Arts and she doesn’t want to experience the feeling of losing like she did in the boxing world.
“Nothing gives this much of a rush when you win. It’s a really rewarding feeling,” Holm said.
“It’s different because it’s all you. You don’t have a team to rely on. You have to perform, but you also have to take away their game plan so it’s little more of a chess match and just more of a sweet victory, I guess. So it’s a little addicting.
“You don’t care if you get hurt as long as you walk away with a win. It’s the end of the world, if you lose a fight it feels like the end of the world.”
Being the hot favourite in every fight isn’t easy for Rousey, who considers it a lose-lose situation.
“If there’s chaos, it’s good. And I need to put myself in situations where people are going to doubt me because I don’t ever want to be in that lose lose situation where if you win, it’s like, ‘Oh, of course you won,’ and if you lose, it’s the end of the world,” Rousey said.
“I want everyone to tell me that I can’t do it because that motivates me more than anything.”