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UFC 208 preview: Holly Holm tries to become 1st women’s featherweight champion vs. de Randamie

The UFC will crown its first women’s featherweight champion after the main event of UFC 208 on Saturday.

Holly Holm is trying to land back on her feet after losing her last two matches since handing Ronda Rousey her first career loss in Nov. 2015. Fortunately, she’ll get a chance to land on her feet in a big way as she has the chance to become the first-ever UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion.

Holm will face Germaine de Randamie in the main event of UFC 208 from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday. It will also be the first ever women’s featherweight fight in the promotion.

While Holm has lost her last two fights, she is a former champion and more than deserving of a shot to be the first featherweight champion of the UFC. Holm owns several quality career wins, but none was bigger than the knockout of Rousey at UFC 193. That won her the women’s bantamweight title and put her on the map.

A dangerous striker, Holm brutalized Rousey, the submission specialist. Unfortunately, she lost in her next match, losing by submission to Miesha Tate in the fifth round at UFC 196. From there, she tried to get back on her feet against Valentina Shevchenko, but lost that fight via unanimous decision.

She’s hoping a fight at featherweight will better suit her going forward. Holm holds a 10-2 record in mixed martial arts overall. De Randamie hasn’t had as much experience, but she’s not far behind Holm. She boasts a 6-3 record as a pro and has won her last two fights, both in the UFC.

In the UFC, de Randamie has only lost to Amanda Nunes, with TKO wins over Anna Elmose and Larissa Pacheco in her last two fights. She won performance of the night against Elmose in her last outing in May 2016.

Holm lost to Tate, a wrestler who wanted no part of Holm’s standup and Schevchenko, a grinder who is known for frustrating her opponents with strong defense and long range. Her losing skid is a major concern, but she fought opponents who were always going to give her fits.

De Randamie has the reach to frustrate Holm, and she likes to stand and trade herself. But Holm is the more technical, more polished striker and should be favored to win the fight.

Whatever happens with Holm, she’ll go down as the woman who stopped Rousey’s mean streak and effectively derailed her career. But Holm wants to be known for more than that, and her bid for continued relevance begins on Saturday.