UFC 184 Newcomer Breakdown – Holly Holm

Holly-HolmPrior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at 18 time boxing world champion Holly Holm as she makes her UFC debut against Raquel Pennington at UFC 184 in Los Angeles, California.   Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico Age: 33 Height: 5’8” Weight Class: Women’s Bantamweight Camp: Jackson’s-Winklejohn’s MMA Career Record: 7-0 Key Wins: None Key Losses: None   Background The New Mexico born and raised fighter is a natural athlete. She gravitated from soccer to gymnastics into combat sports. Her aerobics coach, Mike Winklejohn, eventually joined with Greg Jackson to form the powerhouse MMA gym, Jackson’s-Winklejohn’s MMA. Holm has a storied career in boxing amassing a 33-2 career record having won Ring Magazine’s Female Fighter of the Year award in both 2005 and 2006. Holm began her MMA career in 2011 having won six of her seven fights by knockout beating the likes of Christy Martin and Mia St. John. Strengths

  • Best striker in the division
  • Boxing credentials speak loud and clear
  • Great hands
  • Predominantly a counterstriker
  • Strong kicking game; able to strike from a variety of angles
  • Excellent foot movement


  • Suspect competition
  • Volume not as high as one would expect

  00GradeHolm     Matchup with Raquel Pennington This is the biggest MMA matchup in the career of both fighters. Holly Holm enters the UFC into a co-main event PPV fight against a more experienced MMA fighter in Raquel “Rocky” Pennington. Holm will have a significant advantage on the feet with perhaps the most technical striking in the entire division. Her great footwork combined with her boxing and kicking game should inflict damage on Pennington throughout the fight. As nearly a -900 favorite at time of publication, gamblers believe Holm should steamroll Rocky. I’m not exactly sure that is the case. Pennington has a real crafty submission game (from standing positions). She could certainly threaten Holm in that regard in that type of situation. Many also have question marks about Holm’s ground, but Pennington isn’t the fighter who is going to challenge her in that realm. Ultimately, expect this fight to play out on the feet with Holm landing the vast majority of the strikes in .route to a decision win. If Pennington is able to pull off a surprise win, it will very likely have to be a submission. If you’re looking for a flier on this fight, Pennington by submission (+1200) is an option. UFC Ceiling Holly Holm enters the UFC with the highest expectations for a debuting fighter since Eddie Alvarez made the move from Bellator to the UFC. The 18 time world boxing champion has some of the highest accolades of any female in MMA. Her striking ability is the most technical of anyone I’ve seen in women’s MMA. Her footwork, technique, and general movement is at the top of the women’s landscape. However, there are a handful of question marks that need to be answered before one can believe that she can compete with MMA’s elite. At this point, she’s only shown that she can out athlete opponents in the wrestling department. When she’s actually tasked to face talented fighters, will she be able to prevent takedowns and keep fights standing where she has an advantage? Also, is she versed at all in the submission techniques in today’s MMA world? Can she defend them? Can she threaten opponents with submissions as well? All of those things remain unclear. If she’s going to challenge the likes of Sarah Kaufmann and Ronda Rousey, she will need to prove that she’s more than a world class striker.   Fight Film Check out Holly Holm in some of her fights: Holly Holm vs. Allana Jones https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygCQSiXd2v8   Holly Holm vs. Angela Hayes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we4Vn1Dwg3g

Written by Jay Primetown

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