The UFC finally signed women’s MMA prospect Holly Holm earlier this week. An undefeated female bantamweight MMA fighter who was also a very successful championship boxer, Holm had been a major topic of discussion for some time. Holm is already 7-0 in MMA, winning all but one of her fights by way of knockout. She has shown strong, dynamic striking skills.
The signing of Holm to the UFC is a great move because she was one of the hottest free agents in the sport at the time of her deal. Plus, due to her boxing background, Holm is perceived as a potential threat to reigning women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. The striking game for Rousey is sometimes seen as one of her weaker areas.
While Holm has certainly looked impressive in her MMA career thus far, her competition has been less than impressive. If you look at the resume of her opponents, much of Holm’s opposition has either fairly limited experience, losing records or both. While the women’s bantamweight division may not be the most stacked division in the UFC or even MMA, it will definitely have greater challenges than the fighters Holm faced in Legacy FC, Bellator MMA or Fresquez Productions.
A major area Holm will need to be tested on is her grappling and ground game. As a striker, there is no shortage of strong fighters who can test her in the UFC, both standing and on the ground. Some of the 135 pound women are experienced wrestlers and strong grapplers. The likes of Sara McMann, Sarah Kaufman and Miesha Tate will likely test Holm’s takedown defense. If Holm ever has any hope of a match-up against Ronda Rousey for the title, she will have to prove she can hang on the ground, or that she can at least keep the fight standing where she wants it.
Regardless, Holm coming into the UFC is good news because she is undefeated and an exciting prospect. Right now, after Rousey has obliterated everyone put in front of her, it is good to have a fresh face who can be marketed as one of Rousey’s next biggest challenges.