UFC 193 looks to be an exciting fight card if, like me, you are a fan of women’s MMA. This fight in Melbourne, Australia features four of the most amazing, vicious, female fighters on the planet highlighted by title defenses from Ronda Rousey in the bantamweight division and Joanna Jędrzejczyk in the straw weight division.
Women’s Bantamweight Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Holly Holm
Records: Rousey (12-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC), Holm (9-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC)
Past five: Rousey 5-0, Holm 5-0
Division: Women’s bantamweight
Rankings: Rousey No. 1, Holm No. 9
Odds(as of 11/9/15): Rousey -1600 (favorite), Holm +900
Rousey overwhelms her opponents with a blend of speed and power that I only see in one other female fighter–her co-headliner on the fight card who is one weight class smaller. Her Olympic judo base gives her the ability to toss other women around like ragdolls, which she has done to other fighters who are Olympic level and below. Once Ronda gets a fight to the ground, it’s only a matter of time before she isolates a limb and tries to rip it off. Her only flaw comes in the standup game, where she can get sloppy in exchanges despite her trainer’s assertion that she is undefeated in boxing sparring matches at the gym. Her aggression leaves her open to strikes, and because she employs little head movement, we’ve seen her get tagged a few times. Then again, that lack of head movement works well for grapplers, not boxers. None of her past victims had the power to capitalize on her glaring flaw, as she has shaken off their best shots as she moved in for the takedown. If Holm can wisely sprinkle in her superior striking and control distance, she may survive the first round. If Holm can frustrate Rousey with a level of striking the champion has not yet seen, then she can make it into the later rounds. Wisdom says to bet on a first round arm bar, but I hope I see a smarter opponent really test Rousey into the later rounds. It will not happen, but I would love to see it.
Women’s Strawweight Joanna Jędrzejczyk (c) vs. Valérie Létourneau
Records: Jedrzejczyk (10-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC), Letourneau (8-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC)
Past five: Jedrzejczyk 5-0, Letourneau, 4-1
Rankings: Jedrzejczyk No. 1, Letourneau No. 7
Odds(as of 11/9/15): Jedrzejczyk -2100 (favorite), Letourneau +1500
Jedrzejczyk is a wind-her-up, rock’em, sock’em fighter who likes to perform free plastic surgery on opponents’ faces. This fight will end with Jedrzejczyk wearing parts of Letourneau’s face on her fighting gloves. I expect the challenger to have to carry her face home in a mop bucket, but the question is whether the champion will squeeze all that facial reconstruction into one or two rounds, or if she will enjoy teeing off on another girl for five rounds. Letourneau only stands a chance if she can use her wrestling to get J-Check to the ground, which is no easy task as shown by Carla Esparza, who was a better wrestler.
Heavyweight Mark Hunt vs. Antônio Silva
Records: Hunt (10-10-1 MMA, 5-4-1 UFC), Silva (19-7-1 MMA, 3-4-1 UFC)
Past five: Hunt 1-3-1, Silva 1-3-1
Rankings: Hunt No. 10, Silva No. 14
Odds (as of 11/9/15): Hunt -240 (favorite), Silva +215
This will be a interesting for the fans to go from this slow moving slugfest to the next fight between straw weight females. The first match between these two was very long slugfest bloodbath that the judges fell asleep through and awarded a no decision. I expect only slightly different results here– a bloodbath that ends in a decision for Silva.
Middleweight Robert Whittaker vs. Uriah Hall
Records: Hall (12-5 MMA, 5-3 UFC), Whittaker (14-4 MMA, 5-2 UFC)
Past five: Hall 4-1, Whittaker 3-2
Rankings: Hall No. 11
Odds (as of 11/9/15): Hall -120 (favorite), Whittaker +100
Hall is one of my favorite newcomers when he decides to throw his YouTube worthy, highlight reel kicks. Uriah has disappointed fans early on with listless fights that failed to illustrate his amazing athleticism, but he is coming off a nice spinning jump kick knockout victory over Gegard Mousasi that should signal his ascent up the middleweight ranks. Whittaker is fighting in front of the home crowd in Melbourne, but has little to offer to survive being posterized by Hall.
Heavyweight Stefan Struve vs. Jared Rosholt
Records: Rosholt (13-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC), Struve (26-7 MMA, 10-5 UFC)
Past five: Rosholt 4-1, Struve 3-2
Rankings: Struve No. 11
Odds (as of 11/9/15): Struve -125 (favorite), Rosholt +115
Expect a decision here between two slow plodders who will show flashes of excitement. This is a gatekeeper fight for the division between a skyscraper who rarely uses his size and a former NCAA wrestler who never learned how to strike. Struve will likely get the decision. Go ahead and grab a beer and top off your popcorn during this fight.
Preliminary Card (Fox Sports 1)
Lightweight Jake Matthews vs. Akbarh Arreola
This is a fight between two youngsters from TUF who have won and lost by submission. Matthews is the local favorite, so having the home crowd cheering him on may spur him into a win over the Mexican.
Welterweight Kyle Noke vs. Peter Sobotta
The Australian Noke is good enough to have gone the distance against Patrick Côté in a decision loss, but he barely got past a nobody in his last fight in front of an Australian crowd. Look for him to easily dispatch Sobotta, who has not yet fought anyone of note.
Light Heavyweight Anthony Perosh vs. Gian Villante
Both of these fighters have been up and down their entire careers. Perosh will win or lose in spectacular fashion, and viewers will always admire his heart. He has stepped in last minute to fight Mirko Cro Cop, and has delivered some entertaining matches. Look for him to find a way to win and save his UFC career.
Flyweight Richie Vaculik vs. Danny Martinez
Australian Vaculik is also an avid surfer, when he is not losing MMA bouts. Martinez is on a three fight losing streak. These two need to fight as if their jobs depended on it, because the UFC has been purging a lot of fighters. Neither has a good resume, so flip a coin on this one or go with the local Australian.
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Middleweight Dan Kelly vs. Steve Montgomery
Welterweight Richard Walsh vs. Steve Kennedy
Welterweight James Moontasri vs. Anton Zafir
Flyweight Ben Nguyen vs. Ryan Benoit