Saturday, December 2, 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada
UFC 219 Main Card Preview It’s Holly ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ Holm vs. Cris Cyborg in Intriguing Headline Bout
When it comes to female MMA fighters, the UFC has come a long way in a short time, thanks mostly to the success of the once, wildly popular and previously unbeaten former bantamweight champ “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey.
While Rousey made history back in 2013 as the first female to headline a UFC event, today, we’re starting to see females take the lead or co-headline bouts with more frequency – and rightfully so – seeing as how they’ve provided more than their fair share of entertainment.
In keeping with that theme of female headliners. Comes the next installment of what looks like a highly entertaining feature bout between former bantamweight champ Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm and Cris Cyborg, one of the first and most well-known female fighters, even before Ronda Rousey took it to another level by headlining UFC 157 back in February of 2013.
Now, with Holm and Cyborg set for battle, this preview of the headline bout and the co-main event matchup at UFC 219, will both, inform and entertain.
Cris Cyborg (18-1-1) vs. Holly Holm (11-3)
Division: Women's Featherweight
CristianeJustinoVenâncio, better known as Cris Cyborg is a 32-year-old former Invicta and Strikeforce featherweight champion that has not been beaten since suffering a loss in her first career MMA bout way back in 2005. Cyborg may have very well beaten Rousey to becoming the first female to headline a UFC event had it not been for her nearly two-year absence from the ring back in 2011 after being stripped of her Strikeforce featherweight title for testing positive for stanozolol. Since making her return to mixed martial arts and Invicta in April of 2013 and making her UFC debut in May of 2016, all Cyborg has done is win. She’s won all three of her UFC bouts and comes into this title fight off a third round TKO (knees) win over Tonya Evinger at UFC 214 in July that gave her the vacant featherweight championship. Cyborg stands 5-8 and has a 68-inch reach and has recorded 16 of her 18 career wins by knockout. The 36-year-old Holly Holm is a fine kick boxing specialist that is best known for ‘shocking the world’ by pounding the previously unbeaten Rousey to a pulp via a second round KO (head kick and punch) back in 2015. While Holm lost each of her next three fights, including her title defense against Miesha Tate via fifth-round technical submission (rear-naked choke), Holm clearly established herself as one of the best female fighters in the world. Holm, who stands 5-8 and has a 70-inch reach has recorded eight of her career MMA wins via KO and three via decision and comes into this title bout off a thrilling third round KO (head kick and punch) win over Bethe Correia at UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Correia in June.
KhabibNurmagomedov (24-0) vs. Edson Barboza (19-4)
With a spotless 24-0 record, you’d think that 29-year-old Russian lightweight KhabibNurmagomedov would have had at least a shot at becoming a champion by now, but it hasn’t happened – at least – not just yet. However, if the second-ranked Nurmagomedov win this bout against third-ranked Edson Barboza, you can expect that to change.
Nurmagomedov has just three fights since April of 2014 and none this year-old, although he did win both of his fights in 2016 including a third-round submission (kimura) win over Michael Johnson in November of last year. Nurmagomedov stands 5-10 and has a 70-inch reach and is one of the most versatile fighters around, having recorded an identical eight wins via KO submission and decision.
31-year-old Edson Barboza has looked really solid in winning each of his last three fights, including his second round KO (flying knee) win over BeneilDariush at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Gastelum in March in ‘Performance of the Night’ style no less. The 5-10 Brazilian has a whopping 75-inch reach and has won 11 fights via KO, one via submission and seven by way of decision.
Cris Cyborg vs Holly Holm
Cris Cyborg decisions Holly Holm, retains featherweight title.
Holly Holm had as strong a game plan as anyone has ever taken into the cage for a fight against Cris Cyborg. And it still wasn’t nearly enough.
After two competitive rounds on Saturday at UFC 219, Cyborg pulled away and left no doubt who was the superior fighter. Holm managed to go the distance in Las Vegas, but Cyborg retained her UFC featherweight championship.
The judges’ scores at T-Mobile Arena 49-46, 48-47, and 48-47 in favor of Cyborg.
“Thank you for Holly Holm,” Cyborg said after just her third career decision win. “She is an amazing fighter she had a very good fight.”
The victory was the 19th in a row -- minus a no-decision -- for Cyborg (19-1, 1 NC), who was previously both Invicta and Strikeforce champion.
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Edson Barboza
Khabib Nurmagomedov mauls Edson Barborza.
You can run from Kabib Nurmagomedov, but you can’t hide.
Edson Barboza did his best to lands his patented leg kicks and move out of the way during the opening minutes of his UFC 219 co-main event lightweight bout Saturday night in Las Vegas.
But it was like watching a predator chase his prey in a nature show as Nurmagomedov eventually caught him, then reminded the crowd at T-Mobile Arena why he is one of the most feared fighters on the planet.
Barboza never quit, but he was overmatched, as Nurmagomedov earned a one-sided unanimous decision. The judges’ scores were 30-25, 30-25, and 30-24.
Dan Hooker vs Marc Diakiese
Dan Hooker earns submission win over Marc Diakiese.
For the better part of two rounds on Saturday night, the crowd at T-Mobile Arena did not enjoy the lightweight bout between Dan Hooker and Marc Diakiese. The Las Vegas fans restlessly jeered the lack of action between the two.
But then Hooker got the fans on his side in a hurry. The New Zealander used a super slick guillotine choke to win their UFC 219 fight at the 0:42 mark of the second round.
“I won the first, won the second and finished him in the third,” Hooker said. “I don’t think there’s anything more you can do, you know.”
Hooker has proven to be a finisher in his career, as 14 of his 16 career wins have come inside the distance. It was also his seventh career submission victory.
Cynthia Calvillo vs Carla Esparza
Carla Esparza makes statement against Cynthia Calvillo.
Cynthia Calvillo was looking for a fifth win of 2017 on Saturday night, one that would put a stamp on her rapid ascent up the UFC strawweight division.
But the woman who was UFC champion before Calvillo ever had a pro fight showed on Saturday night that her time as an elite fighter at 115 pounds is far from over.
Carla Esparza shook off a strong first round from Calvillo at UFC 219, then rallied to take the final two rounds. The judges’ scores at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas were 29-28 across the board for a unanimous deicision.
“I am ecstatic,” Esparza (13-4) said after her third win in his past four fights. “I am so happy I worked so hard for this fight. I knew I was going ot have a tough opponent and I’m glad I got the W.”
Carlos Condit vs Neil Magny
Neil Magny earns one-sided decision over Carlos Condit.
Carlos Condit’s return to the cage was highly anticipated.
But those expecting “The Natural Born Killer” of yore at UFC 219 were no doubt disappointed Saturday night.
A combination of ring rust during Condit’s first fight in 18 months, combined with a smart game plan by opponent Neil Magny, led to a flat performance from the former UFC interim and WEC welterweight champion at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Magny won the welterweight bout via unanimous decision, with a pair of 30-27s and a 29-28 from the judges.
“Coming into this fight I knew it was going to be super close,” Magny said. “I didn’t know where the advantage would be, so when I saw the wrestling would be an advantage, I took it.”
Magny, in his 17th UFC fight, set the tone in the opening round. He pressured Condit, moved forward, shot for takedowns, and never let Condit get comfortable.
*Fights labeled as "may not be broadcast" are scheduled to take place before the live broadcast begins. These pre-recorded fights are inserted into the broadcast if time permits. However, due to broadcast time constraints some of these undercard bouts may not be seen on a broadcast. These additional bout can be found as bonus footage on the event DVD.