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Holm and Correia - Another win for another low-entertainment, high-risk division

Former bantamweight champion after an amazing win over the overhyped and overpresented Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm had it all ups and downs from there.

And the same type of victory emerged at this (fight) night. An unexpected headkick after dodging, moving and keeping her opponent at bay.

In this match she had to win over Bethe Correia.

This was supposed to be an easy match for Holm, at least on paper. It became clear from the beginning that Holm was preparing a left high kick as the signature move to seal the deal.

Her high kick was highlighted first in the first around, with about a minute and a half remaining in the first round. She connected one as Correia had no reaction, defense or adaption towards it. From Correia’s perspective, it came from nowhere.

Besides this exchange, the first round wasn’t a monumental striking exchange. They both respected each other and Correia started to prove that she has a well-placed gameplan and that she can sit in that fight and stay alive. Steady, paced, active, but not overly aggressive.

The second round had shown more of the fight’s dynamics and keypoints as the lead leg sidekicks of Holm kept her safe as Correia was beginning to approach. Yet Correia had good reactions and managed to keep herself into the game.

Holm kept calibrating and eyeing that left high kick as the finishing tool in the second round.

The noticeable fact of round 2 was the referee’s warning related to the inactivity taking place in the octagon as the ladies were keeping tight to their gameplans as nothing really took place. The referee stated politely and firmly that he respects her gameplans, “but they have to make something happen”.

From that point, Correia started attempting more strikes. She had one or two noticeable superman punches, which we weren’t expecting to see, especially against a seasoned striker in that division.

As the match was passing from the second to the third round, Correia’s corner was telling her to answer with a cross. Which done improperly could have invited that left kick if the cross had been done too textbook.

And as the third round commenced, Holm suddenly raised the stakes and upped the rhythm, agittating Correia further until the left high kick took place. Correia got caught fully and went down on her feet, and as the referee jumped in, Holm had thrown another punch into Correia’s face, just to finish the deal or to release what was left.

From this match we can understand three major headlines.

First: This division becomes a limbo to watch as they can’t pull Cyborg inside to fight for the belt.

Second: Holly Holm stays relevant and heads towards belt contention once again.

Third: Correia is becoming more and more relevant as well. From losing to Rousey very fast to standing well against Holm for two rounds is clearly a gameplan, technique and conditioning improvement.

Yet this match leaves us with two questions in mind.

First: Willl Holm become the bantamweight queen again?

Second: Is Correia here to stay or was this just a show of skill doable just because Holm doesn’t overwhelm her opponents from the beginning?

Only time can answer.

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