MMA Record: 11-4
UFC Record: 4-4
Notable Wins: Ronda Rousey, Marion Reneau, Raquel Pennington, Bethe Correia
Notable Losses: Cris Cyborg, Valentina Shevchenko, Miesha Tate, Germaine de Randamie
Last Fight: Decision loss to Cris Cyborg
Fighter Profile: The former UFC women’s bantamweight champion, Holm has had a tremendous combat sports career that has seen her have success in boxing, kickboxing and MMA. She began her MMA career with 10-straight wins, including a vicious head kick KO over Ronda Rousey that is one of the biggest upsets in MMA history. But since then Holm has really regressed as she’s just 1-4 in her last five fights. To her credit she has been fighting the top fighters at 135lbs and 145lbs but still, the results haven’t been there. Holm is a tremendous talent and an amazing striker, but at 36 and having so much recently it looks like she’s on the downside of her career.
MMA Record: 8-2
UFC Record: Debut
Notable Wins: Charmaine Tweet, Peggy Morgan
Notable Losses: Cindy Dandois
Last Fight: TKO win over Charmaine Tweet
Fighter Profile: The top women’s featherweight prospect on the planet, Anderson went 4-1 in Invicta with four-straight knockout wins and won the interim title at 145lbs there when Cris Cyborg vacated the belt an went to the UFC. Anderson was supposed to debut for the UFC a while ago but visa issues kept her out of the Octagon and now she will be finally be making her UFC debut. Anderson is a big, strong featherweight with tremendous knockout power. She still is unproven but she has all the tools to make a run for the featherweight title in the UFC, and win over Holm in her Octagon debut should get her a UFC featherweight title shot against Cyborg.
Fight Breakdown: This is one of the fights on the card that I’m most looking forward to as it should determine who is the next No. 1 contender for Cris Cyborg’s belt. Holm has had a brilliant combat sports career and her win over Rousey will go down in history as one of MMA’s greatest upsets, but I haven’t been too impressed with her in the UFC outside of that fight and the Correia fight. Holm has been far too hittable on the feet and her ground game hasn’t looked great either. She obviously has a tremendous striking acumen but we just haven’t seen it in her recent fights, although to be fair to Holm she has been fighting elite competition. As far as Anderson goes, she is coming off of a layoff over a year and hasn’t fought a high level of competition in her career so far, but she did look amazing in Invicta with four-straight knockout wins and at 28 she should continue to get better, while at 36 I think it’s fair to say Holm’s best days are behind her. I understand why Holm is favored here as she’s the more proven fighter at the UFC level, but Anderson is a very talented young fighter with a lot of ambition. No one expected Holm to beat Rousey, and not many are expecting Anderson to beat Holm, but I think Anderson can catch Holm and knock her out and emerge as a title contender at 145lbs.
Prediction: Megan Anderson via KO