UFC 196 is finally upon us and the biggest MMA event of 2016 so far brings with it two massive fights as the main and co-main events. Therefore, there will be two debates this week. First, we have the co-main event – UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm defending her title for the first time against Miesha Tate. In Holm’s corner, we have Jordan Killion and representing Miesha Tate is Matthew Wells.
To start off with as usual, the guys discussed why they believe their chosen fighter will emerge victorious and leave Las Vegas with UFC gold.
Matthew Wells: Miesha Tate is hands down the toughest female competitor in mixed martial arts. She has a way of bringing out the worst in her opponents, making fights a grind. She has the ability to get in your face, take and deliver punishment, in order to implement her wrestling. Unlike Ronda, don’t expect Miesha to over-commit to anything. Looking at Holly’s previous UFC matchups, fighters that are patient can give her a tough fight.
Jordan Killion: Holly Holm will win this fight because of two things: Her distance management and her tremendous footwork. In order for Tate to implement her gameplan she will need to close the distance; be it the clinch, against the cage, or shooting in for a takedown. I think this could end up being much less spectacular than the Holm/Rousey fight because Meisha is not an aggressive striker. She does well when she can make a fight sloppy, something Holly Holm will not allow. Expect a stiff jab and a plethora of front kicks to keep Meisha at bay, allowing Holly to showcase her broad striking repertoire en route to a decisive victory.
MW: Holly manages distance very well, but this is something that was magnified as ghost-like by a Rousey who over-committed on everything. Take into account Ronda still caught Holly with a stiff left hook that staggered her. Miesha is capable of closing the distance well and won’t shy away from trading shots to mix in her takedowns. If Holly gets too worried about her takedown attempts, and Miesha mixes in some feints, we could see Miesha’s striking become more effective.
Perhaps slightly unusually for a title fight, Holm and Tate have been extremely friendly throughout the build-up to this fight. As a stark contrast to the main event of UFC 196, there is no animosity between the women. Could this work to either’s advantage?
MW: Ever since Donald Cerrone vs. Benson Henderson, I no longer have a desire to see every fighter talk trash pre-fight. It certainly helps sell fights and can make things more interesting in the build-up. However, when you have a champion like Holly and a challenger like Miesha who’s no stranger to title-fights herself, you can expect a battle when the cage door shuts. If anything, the lack of trash talk probably benefits both fighters in this case, along with the relieved media pressure by being a part of the McGregor show.
JK: I actually agree with Matt! While showmanship and the gift of gab can help to elevate fights, it’s not the only factor I take into account when setting my expectation for a fight. Holly’s precision versus Tate’s grit is more than enough to get me excited for this out.
Of course, an important aspect of winning any fight is overcoming your opponent’s strength. With that in mind, the guys discussed how they believe their chosen fighter will do just that.
JK: Miesha Tate’s greatest weapon is her mind. She has been put in very trying situations where many fighters would have quit. Holly needs to be aware of this for a few reasons. Miesha may be tired, but she will not quit. That means in the later rounds Holly needs to be weary that the threat of a clinch or takedown may still be there for Tate when it wouldn’t necessarily be a viable option for other “exhausted” fighters.
MW: Miesha has to be aware of Holly’s ability land quick, clean combinations while utilizing some of the best footwork in the game. Holly can dictate the pace of the fight as well as control where the fight goes. It will be up to Miesha to stay focused and trust that as the fight wears on, she can close the distance and allow her wrestling to change the fight in the later rounds.
The flip side to a fighter’s strengths are their weaknesses. The natural progression from discussing how to deal with an opponent’s strengths is how to exploit their weaknesses and that is exactly what the debate turned to.
JK: Miesha had a tendency to try to finish rounds in a dominant position. It’s very smart of her. However, Holly trains under one of the best game planners in all of MMA, Greg Jackson. Look for Miesha to wait for the “one minute” call from her corner to push the pace and find a takedown of some kind. Holly should be able to exploit this pattern with her counter striking and footwork.
MW: It’s not that Holly has a glaring weakness that Miesha can exploit, it’s that Miesha’s overall game is a bad matchup. Holly is a very clean, technical fighter. Miesha, while has technical elements to her game, is very much a grinder who likes to make things interesting by taking fighters to places they haven’t been before. Expect Miesha to stay in Holly’s face and make this one hell of a grind for the Champion.
Being a title fight, there is the possibility that this fight could last for 25 minutes. With that in mind, the guys had different opinions on who that would benefit.
JK: This bout being a 5 round fight is very beneficial for Holly Holm. As much experience as Miesha Tate has, it doesn’t hold a candle to what Holly Holm has done throughout her combat sports career. Holm has 40 professional boxing fights on her record, 19 of those having gone 10 full rounds. Cardio will not be an issue for Holm as we have multiple instances of her fighting for at least 30 minutes. Hell, she’s even been into the 5th round once in her MMA career (Legacy 30). The longer this fight goes, the more time Holly has to pick apart the rudimentary striking game of Miesha Tate.
MW: If Holly doesn’t find a knockout blow, I expect this one to go to the judges’ scorecards. Miesha’s ability to drag fights out, make them gritty and nasty, defines how I expect this fight to go. The longer the fight goes, the more it benefits Miesha.
Often times, fighters have previous fights that we can look to for clues as to how their next fight will go. This fight is no exception.
MW: Miesha’s previous fight against Jessica Eye. She made adjustments throughout the fight after taking some hard shots early on to find a way to break down her opponent. If Miesha is to emerge the new Champion, she will have to figure out a way to break Holly Holm over the course of 5 rounds.
JK: If anything I think the Jessica Eye fight is an example of why Holly will win this match. Eye gave Tate all sorts of trouble early and she’s not 1/10th the boxer Holly is. Looking at Holm’s past wins, I’d say that the Marion Reneau fight is comparable. Reneau wanted to close the distance and get Holly to the mat where she would (presumable) have an advantage. Reneau was not able to do that, at all. Holly’s ability to maintain distance and orchestrate the pace will lead her to victory.
UFC 196 marks the first time since UFC 51 in 2005 that a UFC title fight will be on the undercard of a non-title fight main event, obviously with some mitigating circumstances. There have been some claims that this does a disservice to women’s MMA, but both debaters were in agreement that this fact should not be taken as a show of disrespect to Holm and Tate and that it is ‘just business’.
JK: This is purely a testament to Conor McGregor’s star power. It should not be (and I don’t think it has been) taken as disrespect toward Holly or Miesha. I think the only other person that headlines a card over Conor right now is Ronda Rousey. Jon Jones would be the Co-Main to Conor. Luke Rockhold would be the Co-Main to Conor. Demetrius Johnson would definitely be the Co-Main to Conor. It’s the nature of the business. He (or she) who sells the tickets, gets top billing.
MW: As Conor quoted Jay-Z on Embedded, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man!” I fully expect Conor to headline nearly any fight card going forward, as long as he keeps winning due to his close ties with the UFC brass. It’s all about who people are paying to see, and the Irish contingent cast their vote on who should headline this card. Does it do a disservice? Maybe, but it’s all about what fight sells the most. There’s no question which one does.
Finally, the two made their official predictions for the result – and both expect it to require the judges scorecards.
MW: My bold prediction: Miesha Tate wins a close, intense battle that will have many questioning the judges’ decision. Official Result: Miesha Tate def. Holly Holm via Split Decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)
JK: Official prediction: Holly Holm makes this fight look like a sparring session. Five easy rounds in for the champ, bring on Rousey. Holly holm def. Miesha Tate via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
Thus brings to an end what was, without doubt, the most respectful debate thus far, which seems appropriate considering the respect shown between Holm and Tate in the build-up. Who do you think argued the better point for their fighter and has either man made you reconsider your own prediction? Get in touch and let us know!
2017 IMMAF World Championships set to be streamed live on IOS and Android app
This years IMMAF World Championships in Bahrain is only 4 days away now and competitors from around the world are preparing themselves for what will be an extraordinary event and opportunity to make themselves known. The prestigious event is being hosted by the BMMAF under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
For fans around the world good news came today as they will be able to watch their favourite amateur athlete take to the cage in the Khalifa Sports City Arena via an app. The BahrainTV app will be streaming all of the fights live for fans to watch at home or even on the go on their phone. You can also keep up to date via MyNextMatch.com for all relevant info for the event.
The links for the BahrainTV app are as follows:
*Live Updates* UFC Gdsank Official Results
The UFC hosted their second event in the country of Poland, as UFC Gdsank took place at the Ergo Arena. The card was headlined by a welterweight fight between Donald Cerrone and Darren Till.
Cerrone (32-9) was coming off a close unanimous decision loss to former 170-pound champion Robbie Lawler in July. It was the only time in “Cowboy’s” MMA career that he had suffered consecutive losses.
Till (15-0-1) improved his undefeated record in September, defeating Bojan Veličković by unanimous decision. It was a case of old school vs. new school in this headliner, as the up and comer Till hoped to secure the biggest win of his career over Cerrone.
MAIN CARD – UFC Fight Pass – 8PM BST
- Donald Cerrone (32-9) vs. Darren Till (15-0-1) – Welterweight bout
- Result: Darren Till def. Donald Cerrone via TKO (punches) Round 1 – 4:20
- Karolina Kowalkiewicz (11-2) vs. Jodie Esquibel (6-3) – Women’s strawweight bout
- Result: Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Jodie Esquibel via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Jan Blachowicz (20-7) vs. Devin Clark (8-2) – Light heavyweight bout
- Result: Jan Błachowicz def. Devin Clark via SUB (rear-naked choke) Round 2 – 3:02
- Oskar Piechota (10-0) vs. Jonathan Wilson (7-3) – Middleweight bout
- Result: Oskar Piechota def. Jonathan Wilson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.
Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.
Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)
Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)
Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)
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