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UFC 219: Cyborg vs. Holm (12/30/2017) - Las Vegas, NV (T-Mobile Arena)

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I used to think Holm had a chance stylistically but I think she's going to crumble the first time Cyborg tags her.

 

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Personally, still going back and forth with it, I think it's whoever can apply their tempo the first two minutes of the fight. I mean Holly's bread-and-butter is always going to be the straight left and getting people to look low so she can go high. That's given her a chance to win in every fight she has been in. She's the only female MMA fighter I can think of whose avenue to victory is always the same no matter what because she has been doing this for several years now. On the other hand, that over-reliance can come back to haunt her. If Cyborg  can shape how this fight looks by avoiding those body kicks, not biting on the feints, or not merely following Holly around to eat jabs and counter left hands, she is going to land early and often because Holly is going to be more interested in throwing those exotic but certainly patterned Winkeljohn techniques. Moreover, Cyborg is strong enough to mix in takedowns whereas most of Holly's opponents would simply get shrugged off because Holly has underrated takedown defense and strength. Cyborg should feel comfortable fighting from the clinch.

One thing I would advise with Cyborg is that despite being extremely technically proficient compared to what she was in the Chute Boxe days, she can't be too overconfident that she can just walk through everything. She has proven her chin is sturdier than most. However, whereas Holm is too rehearsed in moments, Cyborg can be a little too reckless in spots. I think in championship moments or fights, you cannot simply fight the same as you did against regular contenders or the middle of the pack opponents unless the sheer talent disparity is noticeable. Robert Whittaker didn't fight the way he did against Sapo Natal like he did againt Yoel Romero. Everything was much tighter and everything had a purpose. You also cannot have over-correction because the fight will be hard to watch due one or both participants being conservative. In addition, I don't think you want the judges to give their interpretation of what little activity is going on because that can go either way. All I am saying is to notice when the margin of error is much smaller and just make those adjustments.

Anyway, it's a really intriguing fight for me.

Also: what do people think for Khabib-Barboza? I think the fight gets really interesting if Edson can stay on his feet. 

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Edson's takedown defence has improved over the years to the point where it's awesome. He stuffed both of the takedowns Dariush attempted against him, but Khabib is a whole other type of monster. I'm pulling for Edson to pull off the upset but if I were betting on it, I'd go Khabib by decision. We've seen Edson wilt under intense pressure when he can't stay just outside of the pocket to pick guys off with his kicks and jabs. Nurmagomedov isn't a flawless fighter though, he's there to be hit on the feet as Michael Johnson showed before Khabib took over the fight with his wrestling. I know MJ beat Edson but Edson's a far more technical fighter and has faster hands (and most certainly feet), so I'm hoping Barboza can knock Khabib loopy early. Other than Ferguson/Khabib, I think this is one of the most interesting and exciting fights that could be made at any weight class.

As for the main event, I don't see Cyborg making big enough mistakes to get taken out by several headkicks. I think it would take more than one of Holly's headkicks to put her down because Holly, to me at least, never seems like she fully commits to her strikes because she's scared of the counter. The Rousey fight was perhaps the only time I've seen her sit down on strikes because Ronda's stand-up was still super rudimentary. Cyborg is way more methodical, patient, and technical now and because of that, I don't see Holm enjoying much success.

Has Joey Diaz gone on Rogan's show to yell about "kalibeeb"? That shit was hilarious. "THAT'S THE SEED!"

edit: lots of good shit on this card. Khalil on the prelims, MAGNY/CONDIT (holy shit yes), Diakese. 

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Thinking Cyborg, Khabib, Diakese, Calvillo, and Condit win. 

Been on the Cyborg train for years going back to waiting for her and Carano to fight each other. 

Khabib will win but at some point he will match up with Tony or Conor. 

Diakese just think he will win. 

Calvillo I think she will beat the Cookie Monster and Condit is a WEC guy which I have a soft spot in my heart for WEC guys. 

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Man, Nicolau is good and Smolka is tougher than shoe leather. Three knockdowns in the first round, several near subs and still hung in the whole way. 

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If you like two guys punching each other in the face then Akhmedov/Vettori was for you.

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Akhmedov must LIKE getting punched in the face. That grin he had after the flurry in the last round was like 'you really don't want to see this guy in a dark alley'. 

Haha! Nobody likes a draw. 

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I feel like if your nickname is GLADIATOR, you shouldn't look like Rick Glenn. 

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Wow Rountree gassed quick, I thought from the opening video (like he probably did) that it wouldn't get out of the first minute or so. The announcers even started talking cardio in lieu of anything else.

Well, enjoy the rest of it fellas, I've got no PPV

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Dominick Cruz is the best colour commentator in MMA.

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Condit looked a step slow and Magny took advantage of that. Those extended layoffs can come back to hurt you.

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His footwork was off too. Way too easy for Magny to circle away from him and then cut the angles to get it inside. He should probably call it quits unless he wants to rededicate himself entirely to the sport. You can't half ass this at the top level.

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MANS NOT HOT! Diakese running up my list o' fave fighters. 

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This is depressing. It's like the inevitability of death. I think the corner should stop it. 

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First time I've seen him fight. Impressed how many of those ground & pound punches are landing right on the face.

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Khabib Nurmagomedov is on another level. Not sure who can beat him. I know he has had weight cut issues but he really needs to be fighting more often if he can stay healthy.

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He just said "Give me an hour to rest and I'll fight Conor or Tony"?

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I don't see even Ferguson putting a dent on this guy. He would annihilate McGregor. He's not nearly as technically sound standing as Johnson, but what he does in terms of grappling and ground and pound is so far ahead of everybody else's ability in those categories. He's a fucking nightmare. 

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