Preview: UFC Fight Night ‘Holm vs. Correia’

Holm vs. Correia

By Connor Ruebusch Jun 15, 2017

With UFC Fight Night 110 more than exceeding expectations, the Ultimate Fighting Championship looks to make gold out of another underwhelming card on Saturday in Singapore.

In the UFC Fight Night 111 main event, Holly Holm will try to reverse the negative momentum of her three-fight skid in a battle with underrated journeywoman Bethe Correia. Do not expect fireworks, but the fight should tell us a great deal about both fighters. Earlier on the main card, former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos will make his much-anticipated welterweight debut in a fascinating fight with kickboxing technician Tarec Saffiedine. Fortunately for fans, the prelims are loaded with well-matched bouts featuring a selection of tested action fighters, crafty veterans and exciting prospects. A bantamweight battle between Kwan Ho Kwak and Russell Doane promises to be action-packed, and Li Jingliang’s penchant for slugfests will be indulged when he takes on experienced slugger Frank Camacho. Plus, Justin Scoggins will take on the resurgent Yuta Sasaki in a fascinating flyweight scrap.

Let us take a closer look at each UFC Fight Night “Holm vs. Correia” matchup, with analysis and picks:

Women’s Bantamweights

Holly Holm (10-3) vs. Bethe Correia (10-2-1)

THE MATCHUP: What a turnaround it has been for Holm, who shocked the world with a dominant victory over Ronda Rousey in 2015 and has suffered three straight losses since. For those who came to know Holm during the lead-up to the Rousey fight, the slow and sometimes downright uneventful nature of Holm’s recent fights has probably been surprising. The truth, however, is that this is how Holm fights. She is not particularly powerful -- unless, like Rousey, you do her the favor of running into every strike she throws -- and her style does not allow her to hang around in the pocket. The result is a lot of moving, a lot of missing and the occasional big surprise as Holm looks to sneak her dangerous left high kick around her opponent’s guard.

After that little preface, it should come as no surprise to you that this is not an easy fight for Holm. Though Correia has not earned many fans, she has developed a great deal since her 30-second loss to Rousey. Her boxing technique has improved by leaps and bounds, and she now throws a stiff jab on a regular basis, following it with combinations. Though she is still not much of an athlete, power has come with technique. Correia now knows how to sit down and make a punch count, and her counter right hand has looked surprisingly quick and impactful in recent fights.

Even so, Holm stands to trouble Correia merely by being the better athlete. For an experienced professional boxer, Holm can be remarkably predictable, and Correia will absolutely have opportunities to catch her on the counter. Correia is nobody’s idea of a power puncher, though, and Holm’s chin is ironclad. Overall, Holm is the faster fighter and much more versatile from long range. Her footwork is imperfect, but she has trained for years to outmaneuver opponents; and she will do everything in her power to run circles around Correia.

THE ODDS: Holm (-640), Correia (+425)

THE PICK: Correia will have her moments in a fight that may look a little ugly for the first few rounds. If she can keep the pressure on Holm and force her into the fence, her tenacious combination punching will be a boon. Such a tactic will also give Holm the opportunities she needs to do serious damage with her punches. If Correia does not pressure or is convinced to stop pressuring at some point, Holm will be able to control the action from long range, all the while looking for one of her sneaky, dangerous kicks. The pick is Holm by unanimous decision.

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