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Holly Holm may be all that stands between Irene Aldana and a shot at the undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship women’s bantamweight crown by the time they collide in the UFC on ESPN 16 headliner this Saturday at the Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
A mainstay in the 135-pound weight class, Holm has alternated wins and losses in each of her past five outings. “The Preacher’s Daughter” last competed at UFC 246, where she took a unanimous decision from Raquel Pennington in their Jan. 18 rematch. Meanwhile, Aldana enters the cage on the strength of back-to-back victories, with shares of her stock at an all-time high. The Lobo Gym export has not fought since she knocked out the previously unbeaten Ketlen Vieira at UFC 245 in December and announced herself as a serious player in the bantamweight division.
As Holm and Aldana make their final preparations, a look at some of the numbers that have accompanied them to this point:
38: Years of age for Holm, who was born on Oct. 17, 1981 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
111: Days spent by Holm as UFC women’s bantamweight champion. She held the 135-pound crown from Nov. 14, 2015 to March 5, 2016. It ranks as the organization’s fifth-shortest title reign of all-time. Only Georges St. Pierre’s 33-day reign at middleweight, Carla Esparza’s 92-day reign at strawweight, Dave Menne’s 105-day reign at middleweight and B.J. Penn’s 107-day reign at lightweight have been shorter.
8: Holm wins by knockout or technical knockout, accounting for 62% of her professional total (13). None have been of the first-round variety.
5: Career losses for Holm, all to current or former UFC champions. Miesha Tate, Valentina Shevchenko, Germaine de Randamie, Cristiane Justino and Amanda Nunes were the perpetrators.
.717: Significant strike percentage generated by Holm in her historic knockout of Ronda Rousey at UFC 193. It remains the third-most efficient performance in the history of the UFC women’s bantamweight division, bested only by Yana Kunitskaya (.754 vs. Julija Stoliarenko) and Lina Lansberg (.735 vs. Tonya Evinger).
32: Years of age for Aldana, who was born on March 26, 1988 in Culiacan, Mexico.
78: Cumulative seconds needed for Aldana to defeat Sandra del Rincon, Flor Saenz and Mayra Arce in her first three professional assignments. They remain the only sub-minute finishes of her career.
667: Significant strikes landed by Aldana as a member of the UFC women’s bantamweight division. Only Pennington (679) has connected on more at 135 pounds.
3: Aldana wins by submission, accounting for 25% of her career total (12). She throttled Peggy Morgan and Colleen Schneider with rear-naked chokes and took out Bethe Correia with an armbar.
29: Takedowns denied by Aldana—in 31 attempts—since she joined the UFC roster in 2016. Only the aforementioned Pennington and Talita Bernardo have managed to complete a takedown against her.
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