MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: Holly Holm To Make Octagon Debut At UFC 181

Holly-Holm “The Preacher’s Daughter” has finally arrived in the Octagon. Holly Holm’s UFC debut is finally official, as the former women’s world boxing champion will make her Octagon debut at UFC 181 when she takes on Raquel Pennington in a three-round women’s bantamweight contest. The event takes place December 6 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, and if the UFC was smart they would put Holm vs. Pennington on the PPV main card. Pennington is a pretty tough fighter, but this is a mismatch on paper and will most likely play out that way in the cage. The UFC wants Holm to win, and I think she will come away with victory in devastating fashion, and I think bettors will be thinking the same thing. Look for Holm to enter this fight as a massive favorite, and if she wins in brutal fashion, look for the hype train to grow even more with her. Augusto Montano vs. Chris Heatherly, UFC 180 A welterweight bout between Augusto Montano and Chris Heatherly was added to UFC 180, which is set for November 15 at Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Mexico City, Mexico. Montano is a very good prospect for the UFC while Heatherly isn’t much more than a journeyman. This looks like a fight that is designed to get Montano a win, and I think it will happen, so look for him to be a pretty big favorite here. Matt Hobar vs. Sergio Pettis, UFC 181 In addition to Holm vs. Pennington, a bantamweight bout between Matt Hobar and Sergio Pettis was added to UFC 181. This is an interesting fight. While Pettis is a top prospect, Hobar is one of those grinding type of fighters that can make a star striker like Pettis look really bad. I expect Pettis will be the favorite here based on name value, but don’t be shocked if Hobar pulls off the upset over Pettis, who I believe is fighting in the wrong weight class. KJ Noons vs. Daron Cruickshank, TUF 20 Finale A 155lb matchup between strikers KJ Noons and Daron Cruickshank is the latest addition to the TUF 20 Finale, which takes place December 12 at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is an excellent fight between two of the best pure standup fighters in the UFC lightweight division and is definitely a Fight of the Night contender at the TUF 20 Finale. Both guys have awesome standup, but Noons is more of a boxer while Cruickshank uses both his hands and feet. I would give Noons an edge in the chin as well, which would help him if the fight stays standing, and the cardio should be close. However, I do think that Cruickshank has the better wrestling and it’s possible he uses his “secret weapon” to steal a decision over Noons. This is a very close fight and could go either way, and I’m expecting a Pick ’em when the lines are released for this card. David Michaud vs. Garett Whiteley, UFC on FOX 13 A lightweight bout between David Michaud and Garett Whiteley was added to UFC on FOX 13, which takes place December 13 at U.S. Airways Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. These are two of the worst fighters on the UFC roster and, to be honest, I’m shocked both guys are getting another chance. As far as the matchup goes, I guess I lean slightly towards Michaud, but this is not a fight that I will be looking to bet on, and I doubt it gets much action at the books. Leandro Issa vs. Yuta Sasaki, UFC Fight Night 58 And finally, a bantamweight bout between Leandro Issa and Yuta Sasaki will take place at UFC Fight Night 58, which is set for December 20 at Ginasio Jose Correa in Barueri, Brazil. This should be an excellent grappling fest between two fighters who excel on the ground and I am looking forward to it very much. It’s a close fight on paper and I could see either guy winning, but I do feel like Sasaki has the higher ceiling as a prospect. That being said, he will be travelling all the way to Brazil for this fight, so I could see Issa being a slight favorite, but either way it’s a good, competitive fight and should be a lot of fun to watch.

Written by Adam Martin.

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