Besides a controversial loss to Germaine de Randamie, Holly Holm has only been beaten clearly in MMA by the best. Four current or future HOFs to be exact, and after bouncing back from a title fight loss to all-time great Amanda Nunes last July at UFC 239. With a win earlier this year, she looks to keep things rolling Saturday night.
We will see if the surging contender Irene Aldana adds her name to the impressive list of names that have beat Holly Holm. She enters the fight riding a 2 fight win streak, most recently knocking Ketlen Viera from the ranks of the unbeaten last December with a spectacular first-round KO/TKO.
Holly Holm has a plan to once again win a title.
“My goal is to have the title, I want to retire with the title. I’m truly a big believer in the fact that, if you’re not trying to fight for a title, what are you fighting for? If you’re not trying to be No. 1, what are you fighting for? That’s the difference between somebody who just wants a participation ribbon and a gold medal. I’m always going for gold.”
Aldana on the other hand has her own title aspirations and knows a win over a former champ and likely HOF Holm will get her there quick.
“I know this fight can take me to the belt… I’m just one step closer to the belt and this is why this is a very important fight and it will bring the very best out of me.”
With another impressive win, she could be fighting for a belt very soon.
“I should be fighting for the belt next because I feel that I have done enough in my fights to be the next in line… I beat Ketlen, at the time she was number two, Holly is number two, so I think this is going to be clear. There’s nothing more that we can prove. I want to take that belt to Mexico.”
Betting Odds (Holm -120 near even, Aldana +100 near even)
My prediction: Round 1 starts off with both fighters slowly throwing little shots to gauge distance with both not doing much in the way of significant strikes. Not much is landed in a toss-up round I think Aldana wins. Round 2 Holm starts to pick up her jab and leg kicks while keeping her distance and does enough to win the second. Next round both girls start to clinch a little more with Holly landing good knees to the body and more leg kicks while Aldana lands a late takedown to make it close but still loses the round. Round 4 Aldana presses Holly against the cage for an uneventful first couple minutes with a couple of good knees, Holm breaks away and starts to land the jab and looks for the head kick doing enough to make it close, but the round making it 2-2 going into round 4. The final round starts in a really close fight both girls gassed and tired. Holly starts to pick it up a couple of minutes in with some good leg kicks and a big right hand. Aldana a bit gassed starts looking for wide takedowns that don’t land as Holly keeps her distance and lands a signature head kick that drops Aldana with about a minute left she survives the round but loses the fight for your winner via Decision (48-47) Holy Holm.