clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UFC 193 fight preview: Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm

Ronda Rousey will soon begin her electric race to the Octagon to the tune of Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation," looking to make the third successful title defense of her women's Bantamweight belt in the span of 10 months. Standing across the cage will be Holly Holm, an undefeated (9-0) mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter who has 38 professional boxing matches to her credit (33-2-3).

The Rousey vs. Holm showdown will serve as the main event of UFC 193, which takes place Saturday night inside Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. UFC 193 is an historic event, marking the first-ever event for the world's leading MMA organization in Victoria's coastal capital. In addition, the promotion will attempt to break its five-year-old attendance record (55,724, set in UFC 129) when it packs the vast 60,000-seat venue.

Rousey, 28, is UFC's brightest star. "Rowdy" is also UFC's most dominant champion, needing little more than two minutes to finish her four most recent opponents ... COMBINED. That's a ridiculous average of just around 43 seconds per fight. Holm, who boasts terrific footwork and length, will attempt to keep a healthy distance from Rousey for as long as possible. Using movement and likely a mix of front and high kicks, Holm will more than likely try and pick apart Rousey from range, a strategy that will likely be a new look for the champion.

It's a sound gameplan that more than likely can last more than 45 seconds, but eventually Rousey will grow impatient and close the distance, even if it means she has to eat a few hard shots on her way toward getting the fight on her terms. Those terms are horizontal, where she can suffocate Holm with enormous pressure and begin to chain together a blend of submission attempts. Holm's ground game is a bit of a mystery -- she holds zero submission victories in her nine-match career. However, she has trained for years with Greg Jackson, who is a mastermind of sorts and who more than likely has gone out of his way to prepare "Preacher's Daughter" for an inevitable Rousey ground attack.

But, will it be enough? The oddsmakers don't think so ... nor do most experts. The good news is that the answer will soon be revealed in dramatic fashion on pay-per-view.

In the PPV co-main event, Strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk will attempt to eviscerate Valerie Letourneau, similar to the way in which she brutally transformed Jessica Penne's face into a bloody, mangled mess five months ago. Jedrzejczyk is a Muay Thai monster with relentless, ferocious striking ability. Even though Letourneau, 32, has won three consecutive bouts inside the Octagon, she probably isn't quite ready for a fighter as dangerous as Jedrzejczyk. In fact, the initial announcement raised a few eyebrows, but then it was revealed that No. 1-ranked contender, Claudia Gadelha, was dealing with injuries and was unable to be ready in time.

Regardless, opportunity knocked and Letourneau answered the call. She is a tough customer, but so, too, was Penne. And that didn't turn out very well.

The PPV-televised portion of UFC 193: "Rousey vs. Holm" will begin at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday. In addition to the aforementioned main and co-main events, the PPV will feature a Heavyweight rematch between hard-hitting veterans Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva, as well as the quick return of Uriah Hall, who stepped up on short notice to fight "The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): The Smashes" winner, Robert Whittaker, when Michael Bisping was forced to withdraw from the event with an injury.

Prior to the PPV, UFC 193 will deliver eight undercard preliminary matches. The first four bouts will stream online via UFC's online digital network, "Fight Pass," at 6:15 p.m. ET before transitioning to television on FOX Sports 1, which will broadcast the remaining four fights starting at 8 p.m. ET. If you are just a casual UFC/MMA fan who catches a handful of events here and there, UFC 193 is certainly worth a long look.

In the meantime, get up to speed on all things UFC 193, including previews, predictions, interviews, breakdowns, videos, analysis and so much more by checking out the most comprehensive collection of stories available anywhere for "Rousey vs. Holm" right here.