Holly Holm says she’s willing to fight Cyborg Justino. That’s great news.

Of course, Holm already has a headlining fight booked at UFC on Fox 20. Valentina Shevchenko is the dubious opponent announced for the main event match against the woman who dethroned Ronda Rousey, and should Holm (as expected) defeat Shevchenko, a match with Cyborg is the fight to make.

It’s simple, really: Cyborg should not be allowed a fight with champ Miesha Tate at a catchweight. A loss for the champ (be it Tate or anyone else), and suddenly, you devalue the title. However, another fighter? Even a contender? That’s not quite as problematic, and Holm and Cyborg represent two of the best in the business. That’s a huge, headline worthy fight right there — and it’s clear after booking Holm at the top of the UFC on Fox 20 card that the promotion still sees the Preacher’s Daughter as a main event level fighter.

Few women are even willing to share the cage with Justino, so that’s issue number one resolved. Issue number two, as mentioned, is for Holm to win her upcoming bout. Number three? Making the fight at a time that makes sense. A win for Holm and she should be looking at the next title shot. Which is fine, because, in the interim, more than likely, Ronda Rousey will be looking to get her belt back. Which means Holm will have to wait regardless.

Now, if Cyborg defeats Holm, well, all that means is that the UFC needs another contender in the short term because a loss to Cyborg at a 140lb catchweight won’t hurt her that much. On the flipside, a win over Cyborg would be nearly as big as Holm’s win over Rousey. Bigger, to many hardcore MMA fans, but the mainstream hasn’t yet caught on to how good Justino really is.

This matchup is pretty much a no-brainer for the UFC. In fact, it’s a shame they went ahead with the Holm vs. Shevchenko pairing at UFC on Fox 20, rather than waiting for the outcome of Justino’s fight at UFC 198. Given how badly she decimated Leslie Smith, a step up in competition is a must, and Invicta FC really has little to offer her, given how thin the ranks of featherweight for women are.

Instead, the UFC is where Justino needs to fight next, and Holm needs to be her next opponent. We’ll have to wait and see how it all pans out, but the two could very well be on a collision course for one of the most fan-friendly fights women’s MMA has to offer.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.

  • Juchi

    Point on, Jay. Unfortunately, although Holm previously indicated she would fight Cyborg, when given the opportunity, she declined. More recently, Cyborg indicated that the only two fighters she was interested in at catch weight were Tate and Rousey. It’s sounding a little like GGG/Canelo and/or Pacqiao/Mayweather. Hopefully, the two ladies can come to terms for what could prove to be a most intriguing match-up while they’re still in their prime.

    • James Welch

      She declined, because she thought she could get an automatic rematch with Tate. She now says she is open to a fight with Cris at 140.
      I know I’m in the minority here, but I think Holly wins that fight. Cyborg has never fought a fighter with Holly’s movement, and her bully style plays right into Holm’s strengths ala Rousey.
      I really believe that Holly holds UFC gold again. She’s still an MMA novice with only 3 and a half years of full time MMA training.