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Can boxing great Holly Holm revive her MMA career against Bethe Correia?

Holly Holm didn’t start off as a mixed martial artist; she transitioned from being a world-class boxer to take on a new challenge. But, ever since she shocked the world and defeated the notorious Ronda Rousey in front of a record-breaking crowd at UFC 193, Holm’s mixed martial arts career has been on a downward spiral. Having lost three fights in a row and now sitting with a 10-3-0 record, Holm needs a win to get back on track.

Holly Holm: One of the best female boxers ever


The Albuquerque-native achieved a mighty 33-2-3 record with nine knockouts, forged by fighting so many top names across three different divisions – light welterweight, welterweight, light middleweight. As ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ approached the end of her boxing career, she defeated three-title holder Anne Sophie Mathis by a unanimous decision. Holm managed to avenge her earlier knockout loss at the hands of Mathis, who had 21 knockouts in 26 professional fights by the time the second fight rolled around.

With two more fights after the huge win against Mathis, Holly Holm ended with an impressive record and rated as one of the best of women’s boxing of all-time. The one disappointment of her boxing career was that a fight with Cecilia Braekhus never materialised. Fresquez Productions, Holm's promoter, said that the potential fight received the green light, but that Braekhus “ducked” the bout.

Transitioning to MMA


Working her way through promotions such as Fresquez, Bellator MMA, and Legacy Fighting Championship, Holly Holm amassed a 7-0-0 record with six coming by way of knockout by the time the UFC came knocking. She made her UFC debut on February 28, at UFC 184, on the undercard of the Ronda Rousey vs Cat Zingano contest, defeating Raquel Pennington by split decision. Just five months later, Holm took on Marion Reneau at UFC Fight Night 71 and won by unanimous decision.

Then, in November 2015, she took on the reigning tyrant of women’s MMA, Ronda Rousey. By this point, Holm was quite highly rated but wasn't on the same level as Rousey. Holm came in as the underdog but left as the woman who ended the champion’s three-year undefeated run by way of knockout, becoming the first person to win championships in both boxing and MMA. After that, however, it all went a bit downhill.

Holm’s crumbling MMA record

'Miesha Tate defeats Holly Holm at UFC 196' - Sabre Blade via Flickr (PD Mark 1.0)

Holly Holm went on to lose three fights in a row. She lost her title in her first defence to Miesha Tate, then Valentina Shevchenko claimed Holm’s second loss by unanimous decision, but Holm knew that she simply “didn’t perform well.” Her latest loss, to Germaine de Randamie, was a very controversial one. Twice after the bell, De Randamine hit Holm, and yet the referee didn’t deduct a single point. The fight went the distance, and De Randamie won by unanimous decision, but by only one point on each of the judges’ cards, per MMA Decisions. 14 of the 23 media outlets also scored it as a Holm victory.

On to Holly Holm vs Bethe Correia


At UFC Fight Night 111, Holly Holm will seek to get her MMA career back on track against Bethe Correia in Singapore. As of 5th June, Holm is priced as the 2/9 favourite with odds to win the fight with Betway. Given the style of both Holm and ‘Pitbull’, this looks to be a battle that mainly showcases each fighter’s boxing ability. Both prefer the stand-up striking style, with Correia having a strike success rate of 47 percent from 837 thrown, and Holm having a 35 percent success rate from 976, per UFC. Neither goes for grappling really, only boasting five successful takedowns between them in 26 fights combined.

When it comes to boxing, Holm has got this fight nailed down, her head jabs, epic combinations, and willingness to wait for the opportunity to counter put her up if this turns into a bout of fist strikes. Correia also opts to box, enforcing counters and combinations often, but she’s also very aggressive. The Brazilian likes to cut off the cage, close in on her opponent, and sometimes pull out spinning back fists. Correia’s a feisty opponent and should be able to trouble Holm, but when it comes down to it, the American former boxing world champion should be able to outclass Correia with an accomplished performance.


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