Odds: De Randamie Favored Over Former Champion Holm At UFC 208

By Gary Randall Feb 9, 2017
(SPONSORED CONTENT) -- Back in January 2011, Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White made the remark that women would never be fighting in his organization. White wasn’t just being sexist, he was also very mistaken. In November 2012, the UFC announced the signing of Strikeforce champion Ronda Rousey, and she changed everything when it came to women’s mixed martial arts. White has since said letting women in the UFC is one of the best decisions he has ever made.

It will be interesting to see if the popularity of women in the sport continues to grow even without Rousey, who is not likely to ever enter the Octagon again -- at least according to White. Rousey was the face of the sport for her gender and arguably the most popular MMA fighter in the USA. But her career path completely changed in November 2015 at UFC 193 in Australia when Rousey was shocked by little-known Holly Holm, a former boxing champion who was a +700 underdog on BetOnline MMA odds.

Holm won by second-round knockout as Rousey couldn’t get her on the ground and was no match for Holm’s punching ability. Rousey was so beaten physically and emotionally that she didn’t return to the Octagon until this past Dec. 30 when Rousey was again beaten badly, this time by current bantamweight (135 pound) champion Amanda Nunes by first-round TKO.

Thanks in part to Rousey, the women’s side of the UFC is growing and that led White late last year to announce the establishment of a third division: featherweight. The first championship fight at 145 pounds will feature Holm against the Netherlands’ Germaine de Randamie to headline UFC 208 in a scheduled five-rounder Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

A big reason White added the featherweight division was so Cristiane Justino, the former Strikeforce and Invicta Fighting Championships champion, would have a division to compete in. “Cyborg” hasn’t been able to get under 145 pounds previously -- one reason she and Rousey never met. Now it seems likely they never will. White offered Justino the chance to headline this card but she declined. Justino is expected to fight the winner later this year.

Holm (10-2), ranked the No. 2 bantamweight, is a +105 underdog on BetOnline for Saturday. She is on a two-fight losing streak -- she had never previously lost back-to-back fights dating to her professional boxing career from 2002 to 2013. “The Preacher’s Daughter” was last in the Octagon in July 2016 in a bout against Valentina Shevchenko. Holm was a -310 favorite but lost a unanimous decision to Shevchenko. She won by scores of 49-46 on all three judges’ cards. Holm originally lost her title as a -350 favorite against Miesha Tate, beaten by technical submission at UFC 196 in March 2016.

De Randamie (6-3), a former muay Thai champion, has made four appearances in the UFC since coming over from Strikeforce. The 32-year-old’s lone loss in that stretch was a first-round TKO to Nunes in November 2013. De Randamie was a -170 favorite. “The Iron Lady” has fought just twice since, last at -475 against Anna Elmose and winning by first-round knockout last May.

De Randamie and Holm opened at -110 each back in January. The over/under rounds total for the fight is 4.5, with the over a -140 favorite. Neither Holm nor de Randamie has won an MMA fight by submission yet. Three of Holm’s 10 wins are by decision as are three of de Randamie’s.

Also on the card is a middleweight non-title fight between former champion and arguably the best MMA fighter ever, Brazilian Anderson Silva, and American Derek Brunson. Silva is a +130 underdog, which summarizes where his career has been lately. The 41-year-old Silva (33-8) has four losses and one no contest in his past five outings. He is a betting underdog for the second straight fight after not being so once dating back to 2007.

Brunson, who is ranked eighth in the division, one spot behind Silva, is 16-4 but off a first-round loss to Robert Whittaker in November. Brunson is a -150 favorite in the biggest fight of his career.


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