After back to back profitable events @UFCinsiders have a breakdown of the highly anticipated title fight between Miesha Tate and Holly Holm. Read on and find out their UFC 196 Prediction.
Background | UFC 196 Prediction
The co-main event of UFC 196 sees Holly Holm defend her newly won title for the first time against perennial contender Miesha Tate. Interestingly, this will be the first time that a non-title fight has headlined over a title fight since UFC 51, way back in February 2005.
Holm is coming in off the shocking and much publicised knockout victory over Ronda Rousey, following a brace of somewhat inactive point-fighting decisions over Raquel Pennington and Marion Reneau. A world champion boxer prior to entering mixed martial arts, Holm has a legitimate case to be considered as the greatest ever female athlete in combat sports.
After losing her first two UFC bouts to Cat Zingano and a title fight to Rousey, Tate has steadily reeled off four straight decision victories en route to getting another chance at the gold. Although she is the younger fighter by five years, she holds a substantial MMA experience advantage, having won the Strikeforce world title at a time where Holm had only one professional MMA fight.
Styles | UFC 196 Prediction
Suffice it to say, female MMA isn’t as developed as the men’s side, both technique-wise and certainly in terms of athleticism. This is why an Olympic judoka in Ronda Rousey was able to come in and destroy the top contenders in rapid time. The first time she faced a legitimately world-class athlete, she was defeated. Holm is not a massive puncher, nor is she actually particularly aggressive. However, she is big, strong and quick for the division, and can marry that horsepower with excellent fundamentals such as footwork and maintaining range that you’d expect from a champion boxer.
What you might not expect from a boxer is the fact that her kicking game seems to be the real “kill shot”, with six of her seven career stoppages coming via that route.There are still actually quite a lot of question marks remaining about Holm. Is the “usual” standard the girl who won boring decisions against mediocre competition in her first two fights, or did the button finally click for the Rousey fight? Certainly Rousey running with reckless abandon straight into her strikes was very conducive to her success. Is she akin to a female Lyoto Machida, to where she is happy to win boring striking matches against opponents who refuse to open up, but will ruthlessly exploit any risks her opponents take? All of these things are possibilities. Personally, I think there is something to her “fighting up or down” to her competition.
Holm seems to have very good takedown defence, albeit on the ground she is still a virtual unknown. In the Rousey fight, she was able to scramble quickly back to her feet when the fight hit the mat. She also showed in that fight that she wasn’t above actually getting a takedown, albeit that was more an attempt to surprise the champion at the end of a round as opposed to a desire to actually fight on the ground for a prolonged spell.
Miesha Tate is again a good illustration of the relative weakness of the women’s game. The real strengths of her game lie in toughness, stamina and heart, all intangibles that would take you nowhere near contender status in the male side of the game. I said earlier that she has won her last four fights by decision; while true, it belies the fact that she lost the opening spell quite handily in three of those four before grinding out her opponent as the fight progressed.
In terms of actual fighting ability, it goes without saying that Tate’s stand-up ability is leagues below the champion. She will be very hittable and vulnerable in that range, albeit she has one of the best chins/recovery in the division. She did manage to drop Jessica Eye twice with a big right overhand in her last outing, but that was a bit bizarre in that Eye basically landed at will for the first three minutes of the fight, was clipped once and was never in the fight after that point. Basically, if this is a stand-up fight Tate will not get her hand raised, and she’ll be well aware of that.
The real meat of her game, and best route to victory here, is in her wrestling and grappling. Hardly a technical savant in that department, she has success by pressure and constant action. Even whilst in losing positions, she seems able to deplete her opponent’s condition to the point that she can take over the fight as it progresses further. To put it another way, since 2010 she’s had nine fights, and the only one where she didn’t have to outlast her opponent was against Rin Nakai.
UFC 196 Prediction
This is your basic “striker vs grappler” match-up, and you have to like the world-class athlete over the high school wrestler. Holm is going to be stronger, bigger and quicker, and even if Tate does get a takedown it’s hard to see her maintaining top position for any length of time. The only real question for me is whether she can survive to the final bell, or if Holm will stop her. I lean slightly towards the former, owing to a combination of Tate’s toughness and Holm’s occasional passiveness.
Read our McGregor v Diaz UFC 196 Prediction
Holly Holm by Decision at 2.88 (15/8) with Betvictor
Over 4.5 Rounds at 1.95 (20/21) with Paddy Power