December 30th we are either getting a war or a one sided beatdown when featherweight champ Cris Cyborg defends against former bantamweight champ Holly Holm. Each one has a specific game plan in The Octagon that are not going to play nicely with the other. Today I’m going to break down their bout at UFC 219 and what each needs to do to come out victorious.

First, let’s ask ourselves what Holly Holm is good at besides essentially kicking off the ending of Ronda Rousey’s career. Holm is powerful, crafty, and has some nasty kicks at her disposal. Now, what is Cyborg good at? She’s also powerful, aggressive, and good on the ground when she needs to be.

Second, let’s ask ourselves how the fights of each have ended leading up to this. Holly has 8 KO/TKO wins and three losses with only one not going do decision. It was a submission loss to Miesha Tate that cost her the bantamweight title and kicked off the three fight skid. Her last bout was a TKO win over the once hyped as the second coming of Cyborg, Bethe Correia, but that was a return to 135 pounds. This fight will take her back to 145 where she is 0-1 in the UFC making it hard to bet on her winning.

Cyborg on the other hand has one loss on her record and that was her debut thus making her 18-1 win loss record astonishing. She did have one no contest back in 2011 when she failed a drug test for PED’s and that has haunted her ever since. So essentially she is on an eighteen fight win streak if you remove the drug test failure and consider the initial outcome before the reversal. After her failed test she KO/TKO’d the next eight fighters they put in front of her. So Cris has the momentum going in to the bout.

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Next, let’s talk about the keys to victory.

Holly has to goad Cyborg in to attacking her first. She’s a counter puncher and a counter puncher needs something to counter. If Cris intends on rushing in and Holm can weather the initial storm we may have a fight on our hands. She needs to keep her distance and preferably get in and get out after landing until she has worn Cris out enough to land a few more in each exchange. If she can stuff the takedowns and keep her distance it might work out for her.

Cyborg is going to do what she always does. She’s going to swing for the fences with proper striking technique and if one lands flush it is over. Cris can take Holly down at will if she is on her game but that’s the rub. She has to come in sharp and with a good gameplan or they won’t work. She must be forceful and if she can’t get the takedowns she needs to make sure Holly knows attempts could come at any moment keeping her timid.

This all comes down to whether or not Holly can be elusive and force Cris to rush in. If she can she has a chance but if she tries to take the fight to her it will probably end badly. Cris needs Holly to be impulsive and start being the aggressor, and she needs to get her to stand in the pocket with her.

Who do you have winning this?

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