On Saturday evening, one of the biggest fights in WMMA history will take place when Cris Cyborg defends her UFC women’s featherweight title against former bantamweight champion Holly Holm. But according to UFC President Dana White, the UFC 219 main event has more on the line than just the 145-pound title, it’s also a fight that with major implications for the legacies of both women.
On Thursday, White went on FS1’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd, to discuss the upcoming title fight, saying that this is the biggest fight in both women’s careers, especially Holm who White says will earn the title of “Greatest Female Fighter of All Time” with a win.
“This is the biggest fight of her career,” White said. “This is the true test for Cris Cyborg. If you look at Holly Holm: 13-time world boxing champion, multiple time kickboxing champion, beat Ronda Rousey and won the UFC title. Now Holm is moving up to 145 pounds and she’s actually a real 145-pounder - she’s tall, she’s big, she’s thick.
“[And] if Holly Holm wins this weekend, how can you argue that she’s not the greatest fighter of all time - female fighter?”
Holm was an accomplished professional boxer and kickboxer who then made the jump to MMA and eventually won the UFC bantamweight title in epic fashion, dethroning the seemingly invincible Ronda Rousey at UFC 193. Now, Holm has a second opportunity to play spoiler and win a title by defeating an opponent that many think is unbeatable.
But the stakes are high for Cyborg as well. The UFC women’s featherweight champion is widely considered to be one of the best fighters on the planet but her legacy among the all-time greats has been substantially impeded by competing in a division without a plethora of talented fighters for her to fight. Instead, Cyborg has spent much of the prime of her career fighting whoever she could, which has resulted in many fights against much smaller and less accomplished foes. In Holm, Cyborg is fighting one of the most accomplished fighters she has ever faced and a win would be a huge boost to her resume, especially considering Holm is one of the few fighters who can match Cyborg’s athleticism and striking ability. For White, this all adds up to one of the most significant fights in the women’s MMA.
“For Cris Cyborg, to win this fight, obviously it’s a big fight for her,” White said. “I think Holly Holm is her first real, true test. As far as the fight goes, Cyborg is a very aggressive fighter, knockout puncher, likes to move forward, aggressive and Holly Holm is a counterpuncher. She’s a great counterpuncher, and I actually expect this to be a great fight.”
UFC 219 will feature Cris Cyborg’s first defense of her women’s featherweight title; it will also be Holm’s second attempt at the belt, coming up short against Germaine de Randamie at UFC 208 earlier this year, losing a close unanimous decision.
Good luck. Bellator parts ways with long-time commentator Jimmy Smith.
Staying put. Cris Cyborg has backed off her plan to retire from MMA in 2018.
Dana on Skip and Shannon.
Feel good story.
Agree or disagree?
This man is back in our lives this weekend.
The MMA Circus. UFC 219 and Rizin FF previews.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Truly touched by the support from Bellator fighters and fans. Going to miss you all and know that honoring you is all I have ever strived to do. pic.twitter.com/rfx2q3dqK7— Jimmy Smith (@jimmysmithmma) December 28, 2017
Oluwale still going at it.
Id rather bash trolls than bash true mma fans for booing me for a fight I actually lost against the @MoTownPhenom ! @danawhite ur greed will eventually cost u the @ufc ! Invest in ur fuckin product so ur fighters can live decently &reach their full potential bc the struggles real— Oluwale♚Bamgbose (@HolyWarAngelMMA) December 28, 2017
Im humble but im a fighter so naturally I can go (0) to a crazy (100) real quick. The fuck u surprised for? This troll hate shit is fueling me u fucking idiots bc I know who the fuck I am. U counting my failures bc u negative assholes never conquered shit. U wish ur hate broke me— Oluwale♚Bamgbose (@HolyWarAngelMMA) December 29, 2017
There are a ton of Tweets like this.
For a pussy u sure do know ur stuff. Shut the fuck up. I pursued what I loved and got KOd once in my entire career and bc of that ima get brain damage? I wonder how u feel about other fighters who got knocked out before? So are they stupid too. SHUT UR PUSSY ASS UP! HALF OF A MAN https://t.co/YA85SlZs2g— Oluwale♚Bamgbose (@HolyWarAngelMMA) December 28, 2017
And other fighters are starting to get confused.
U good bro! I just remember you beating Al's ass and the crowd booing him bc he lost to u and him cursing out the crowd for being honest.— Oluwale♚Bamgbose (@HolyWarAngelMMA) December 28, 2017
Let me tell you the answer: I crush him. He does what I do just not as well and not as big as me. https://t.co/JdiDZqKoGm— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) December 28, 2017
Nate Marquardt had one hell of a career.
Forget his recent fights, in his prime Nate Marquardt was the closest thing there was to a real life Tekken character. He'll go down as the only fighter in MMA history to holds belts in Strikeforce and Pancrase. Thank you for all the memories Nate. https://t.co/R79WL2NvOO— Raiden (@Cyber_Zealot) December 28, 2017
Could Forrest be preparing for a comeback?
The Year of the Knee.
Successful repair! Special thanks to Dr James Vahey at the Hand Center of Nevada. If you are looking for a hand expert, he's worth flying in for. Time for physical therapy to start. pic.twitter.com/reDYOXZZx4— Michael McDonald (@MaydayMcDonald) December 29, 2017
Wanderlei and the Noodle Cup.
Yo I wanna get a winnebago that you can just drive into the water like a yacht. Drive around the country sparring people and drinkin mai Thais on the ocean lighting up under the stars with my girl. . .— Platinum Mike Perry (@PlatinumPerry) December 28, 2017
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2007: Georges St-Pierre won the UFC interim welterweight title, submitting Matt Hughes in their trilogy fight at UFC 79. In the co-main event, the MMA world finally got the fight they’d wanted for years with Chuck Liddell winning a unanimous decision over Wanderlei Silva.
And UFC 219 is upon us, along with another long weekend. I hope y’all enjoy the fights and ringing in the 2018. Remember, be responsible and see y’all on Tuesday.
Who wins tomorrow?
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