Holm will be looking to defend the 135 title for the first time, after she took out Ronda Rousey in highlight reel fashion at UFC 193 in November. Initially, the UFC wanted to book an immediate rematch between Holm and Rousey, but after the latter requested more time off, the bout with Tate was signed.
Recently Holm’s striking coach, Mike Winkeljohn, appeared on “The MMA Hour”. While discussing Tate, Winkeljohn had this to say (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“Oh yeah. You know, she’s number one for a reason,” Winkeljohn said. “She’s been around for a long time and she’s pretty darn good everywhere. She hits hard; she’s tapping people out. Her wrestling is very good. You see that she’s beaten jiu jitsu people, she’s beaten wrestlers and she’s beaten strikers so she’s very good at what she does.”
Yup. Although Tate’s come up short against Rousey twice, and lost to Cat Zingano, she hasn’t remained at the top of the 135 division by accident. Tate is riding a four fight winning streak and has defeated contenders like Sara McMann and Jessica Eye during that time.
So how does Winkeljohn see Saturday’s co-headliner going?
“Second round KO for Holly Holm,” Winkeljohn said. “Yeah a lot like it; just as dominant.”
How about that? That’s quite the prediction. Clearly Holm has demonstrated that she has the tools to do this, but it will be interesting to see whether she can pull this off in consecutive bouts. Tate is going to be looking to take the fight down, but chances are, she won’t be trying to do so via a clinch and throw (as Rousey did). So, if Tate can get in on Holm’s legs without getting blasted, the fight could very well go to the championship rounds. Is that a big “if”? Maybe.