Cyborg (18-1-0) is considered the most dangerous and dominant female fighter of all time. The Brazilian has not lost since her professional debut back in 2005. She has finished sixteen of her eighteen career victories by way of knockouts, owning notable wins over some of WMMA’s biggest names including Gina Carano, Marloes Coenen, Leslie Smith and Charmaine Tweet. She won the UFC featherweight title this past July, knocking out Tonya Evinger in the third round.
Holm (11-3-0) is a multiple-time world boxing champion who made the transition to MMA in 2011. She has finished eight of her eleven career victories by way of knockouts. In 2015, “The Preacher’s Daughter” shocked the world by landing her trademark head kick on Ronda Rousey to become the UFC bantamweight world champion, becoming the first woman to defeat Rousey in the process. She has never been knocked out in her MMA career. As well as Rousey, she owns notable UFC wins over Bethe Correia, Raquel Pennington and Marion Reneau.
Ahead of tonight’s event, the WMMA Rankings team have made their predictions for the 145-pound title showdown. Take a look at them below.
Nick: It’s so awesome to see women headlining the end of the year card again. This is such an epic fight between two of the very best. How do you bet against Cyborg? You really don’t. However, if we learned anything in 2017 it’s that anything can happen. And if we know anything about Holly Holm, it’s that she’s capable of anything. Holly makes history.
Pick: Holly Holm
Lucy: Cyborg and Holm is a highly anticipated match up, and for good reason. These two are predominantly strikers but Cris is much more known for aggression, while Holm is more comfortable counter striking. There’s a lot of questions coming into this fight about who will do what in the fight, because there’s many different ways it could go. Cris doesn’t use her grappling that much considering her grappling skills and that is one of Holms weaker areas, but she does have very good takedown defence. I’m expecting a war out of these two and I’m probably in the minority of people that thinks this will result in a decision. If this fight doesn’t go the distance then i think Hollys superior foot work and counter striking might be the perfect recipe for beating Cris. I am picking Holm by KO but would not be surprised if it goes the distance, I’m which case it could really go either way.
Pick: Holly Holm
Noah: Cris Cyborg will no doubt be Holly Holm’s toughest opponent to date, and likewise Holm will bring a style which Cyborg has never been matched up against before. A point which UFC’s Dan Hardy recently brought up is that if Holm was facing any of Cyborg’s previous opponents, she would be the betting favorite leading in. The fight is a very unpredictable one, both women possess the ability to end the fight early on, Holm if she lands her trademark kick, and Cyborg if she lands one of her powerful blows or finds a way to take the fight to the ground early. However, the fight could go multiple rounds if both women decide to stand and trade. 2017 is the year of upsets and I’m going to go with the feel-good story of Holm closing out the year to shock the world once again, this time in her home country. Cyborg will find Holm’s distance, footwork and speed frustrating and at some point will get caught with the head kick.
Pick: Holly Holm
UFC 219 takes place tonight from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. The main card will be aired live on pay-per-view from 10pm ET.