Well that came out of nowhere.

This past Friday, during an appearance on Good Morning America, UFC women’s bantamweight champion, Ronda Rousey, announced that her next opponent would be Holly Holm. It came as a bit of a shock considering many were led to believe that Miesha Tate would be getting the next shot at Rousey on the heels of her fourth consecutive win; a unanimous decision over Jessica Eye at UFC on Fox 16 in July.

Tate has done more than enough to earn another shot – it would be her third – at Rousey, Dana White and the UFC team decided to give the next shot to Holm instead.

While you can’t help but feel bad for Tate in this situation, you also have to understand why the UFC is going in this direction. Tate has already faced Rousey twice and both bouts ending with Tate being caught in Rousey’s patented armbar. Even though Tate is arguably the second best women’s bantamweight in the world, a third fight would be a tough sell.

In Holm, the UFC has a fresh face and name to market alongside Rousey. Even though she hasn’t blown the doors off of anybody with her two Octagon performances, Holm has the kind of tools needed to give Rousey a run for her money.

As a former 18-time world champion boxer, Holm’s hands are phenomenal and her technique is nearly flawless. Holm is a methodical technical fighter who looks to pick her opponent’s apart rather than rushing in and looking for that one big shot.

Considering Rousey’s last three title defenses have all ended in under a minute, it’s clear the “rush her” strategy simply isn’t working. Holm’s approach alone could stretch this bout beyond the one minute mark, making it Rousey’s longest bout in well over a year.

Even though Rousey’s technical striking has been improving, she would still be at a significant technical disadvantage against Holm on the feet. Between her accuracy and footwork Holm could, in theory, pick Rousey apart on the feet.

Even still, that doesn’t mean that Holm is really a threat to upset the dominant champion as Holm simply isn’t on that level yet. While her boxing is tremendous, Holm doesn’t have the complete skill set to push Rousey into uncharted waters. The second Rousey is able to close the distance and initiate the clinch the fight is over.

Holm has only one way to win this fight; she has to methodically pick Rousey apart from the outside. Rousey on the other hand has the power to knock Holm out and she has the grappling ability to submit her at any time.

Expect to see a more competitive bout; relatively speaking of course. But don’t expect to see a less than spectacular outcome from Rousey.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.