Saturday night's UFC 196 women's bantamweight title fight between Holly Holm and Miesha Tate has led to some of the worst in MMA Math: Holm knocked out Ronda Rousey to win the championship, and Rousey finished Tate twice, therefore, the matchup in Las Vegas should be a walk in the park for Holm.
Savvier minds know the equation is a tad more complex. One of the sharpest analysts in the business, former WEC light heavyweight champion Brian Stann, believes that Tate, the former Strikeforce bantamweight champion, has a real path to victory come Saturday night: Her power game.
"Miesha has got to power punch," Stann said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "And here is the biggest key. She's got to punch with power."
That also means that Tate has to accept that Holm, a surgical and precise striker, is going to hit her. The key is, during that split-second Holm is in the pocket, to hit her back and hit her harder.
"Miesha has to, as soon as Holly goes in to hit her, accept the fact you'll get hit, and land your own shots at the same time," Stann said. "Miesha has the power advantage in this fight. We've seen Miesha throw much heavier. Her boxing has gotten better and better."
Holm has been at the combat sports game for quite some time, and she's knocked out in her professional boxer career. Tate, Stann said, needs to exploit it.
"Holly has had a lot of time in the ring," Stann said. "She's taken a lot of shots. She's been knocked out before. Miesha's best chance in this fight isn't shooting takedowns and getting frustrated not being able to get Holly down. It's wait for the right time. Punch with her. ... She's got to pressure, as soon as Holly's going to go, she's got to go as well. Punch with her, every single time. Try to catch her with that big right hand and drop her."
As for Holm, the favorite in the fight, the biggest factor might simply be a matter of keeping her head on straight now that she's the champion and the subject off all the pre-fight attention. But Stann, having trained at JacksonWink alongside Holm, believes that fact she's got the same people around her in New Mexico who have been there for the whole ride will play out to her advantage.
"She's going to handle it well," Stann said. "It's easier when you're the hungry person and the target is on the other person's back. Now she's the one that's in the limelight. She's the doing all the media, she can't come to the MGM with a blue collar hat and a bag over her shoulder to take the fight. She gets all the attention. But Holly is a smart enough girl to know that, and Mike Winkeljohn is a smart enough coach to know that.
"The other thing she has which is fortunate, she's in Albuquerque, her husband, her brothers, her family, they were there for her when she was knocked out, they are there for her now that she's the queen of the bantamweight division. So I gotta think that support network has done a really good job of making sure she's focused and knows the job at hand."