UFC Fight Island 4: The Unstoppable Holly Holm
By; Clint MacLean (@DieHardMMAPod)
UFC Fight Island 4 is a paltry offering from the UFC. Coming off of one of the most stacked cards of the year in UFC 253, this is a tough one to swallow, and it might be even worse from a betting perspective. There are several fights on the card that are worth watching but will be extremely close from a betting perspective, and you are probably better off passing and saving your money. What I think we should take a moment to appreciate this week rather than talking about a card full of mismatches and low-level fights is the A-side of the main event.
Miss Holly Holm.
— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) October 1, 2020
First, let me start by saying that this is no disrespect to Holly’s opponent Irene, but she is still a rising star and still has a lot to prove. Holly is a legend in the sport of MMA and has done nothing but fight the very best women the world has to offer. Before starting her UFC career, Holm fought as a boxer and amassed an impressive 33-2-3 record. She also had a career as a professional kickboxer, where she went 14-1. In 2011 Holly made her move to MMA and did nothing but dominate in a time when women’s MMA was barely on the map.
Holly won her first 5 MMA fights via knockout, which is something unheard of at this time of the sport. Women’s MMA was just getting the ball rolling, and it was ages behind men’s MMA when it came to training and development. There simply aren’t that many women fighters out there capable of finishing fights in the dramatic fashion that Holly was, and she caught the eye of the UFC quickly.
This was the age of Rhonda Rousey, and we as fans couldn’t think of anybody who could challenge her reign. Rhonda was a perfect 6-0 in the UFC and on an undefeated 12-0 run in her MMA career with all 12 coming by way of finish. She had single-handedly put women’s MMA on the map, and she had done enough to impress Dana White enough that he allowed women in the UFC after swearing it would never happen.
ROUSEY vs ZINGANO!!! pic.twitter.com/fniiba5611
— danawhite (@danawhite) February 28, 2015
When Holly showed up on the scene and was granted a title shot at Rhonda after just 2 UFC fights, she was completely disregarded. I have been a hardcore MMA fan for many many years and thought of myself as something of an expert even back then, but I never saw Holly coming. On November 14th, 2015, Holly put the world on notice.
Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm | Nov 14, 2015 pic.twitter.com/eJENBI8Wmo
— MMA Feed (@MMAFeed1) December 21, 2018
Since then, Holly has had a bit of a rough run, and I think because of that, she gets a bad wrap. We need to set that record straight. The UFC exploded thanks to stars like Conor McGregor, and most fans from that era of the UFC have only ever seen the downfall of Holly, and that doesn’t paint her in a fair light. Since capturing the title in 2015, Holly is 3-5 in the UFC, and people cannot figure out how she keeps getting title shots. The fact of the matter is that she is one of the most talented fighters on the planet, and there aren’t many who can defeat her.
Holly’s rough run has come against Meisha Tate, Valentine Shevchenko, Germaine de Randame, Cyborg, and Amanda Nunes. The women who have defeated Holly are literally only belt holders. Holy was thoroughly defeating Meisha Tate until she made one mistake late in the 5th inning and got caught in a chokehold she could not find herself out of. This loss proved to be primarily a fluke, and Meisha would drop the belt in her next fight. Holm would lose to Valentine Shevchenko, who has become the 2nd best fight in women’s MMA history. Valentina gave the women’s GOAT Amanda Nunes, the two best fights of her career and had a legitimate argument to winning them. Holmes was given an opportunity to fight for the first-ever 145 straps when she took on GDR in one of the most controversial losses in UFC history. There should have been several point deductions for blatant fouls by GDR that went unnoticed, and it was still an extremely close fight. In her next loss, Holly made history as the only fighter to ever go a full 25 minutes with Cris Cyborg. Even though Holly wasn’t able to get the win, she took Cyborg further than anybody ever has and likely ever will. Finally, Holly was KO’d by Amanda Nunes. The GOAT.
When you look at Holly’s career, she has two losses that can be overlooked and forgiven, and even still, those losses only came to women who touched gold. Holm is a champion to her core and deserves so much more respect than she gets for her talent, skill, and determination. Even at the age of 38, Holly is not allowing herself to become a stepping stone. She should be somebody younger fighters can make their names off of, but every time Holly doesn’t fight a champion, she shows her dominance again.
Saturday, Holly will be in the main event again, and she is facing an opponent who has not touched gold. Irene Aldana is an impressive prospect, and I like everything she brings to the cage, but is she ready for Holm? This will be a massive jump up in competition for the young would-be contender, and once again, we see a disrespectful -120 on Holly Holm. I like Irene Aldana, but I don’t understand the rush to bet against Holly. Do not be surprised when Holly again shows the world that she is still very much one of the best we have ever seen.
Nominee #4: Holly Holm
Already a World Champion in Boxing,
Holly Holm added the UFC title to her mantle this year pic.twitter.com/jNj4BCW86v
— MMA History Today (@MMAHistoryToday) December 30, 2015