With a huge UFC card right around the corner, it’s almost as if Christmas is coming early. On Nov. 14 at UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia, Ronda Rousey takes on Holly Holm for the women’s bantamweight championship, with a co-main featuring UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Valerie Letourneau. Also featured on the card is an epic rematch in the heavyweight division between Mark Hunt and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva.
Let’s take an in-depth look at these fighters’ training, advantages and game plans, as well as what’s on the line leading into their big fights
Deeper Look: Rousey fights out of the Glendale Fight Club in California under Edmond Tarverdyan and sports an undefeated record of 12-0. Rousey is considered one of the most dominant champions in UFC since exploding on the scene in 2012. She is an Olympic bronze medalist and a master of the arm bar. Her striking has also improved over the years since working with Edmond, which was evident in her knockout win over Bethe Correia at UFC 190.
Article continues below ...
UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey (L) faces off against Holly Holm
Ronda brings an unmatched tenacity to the cage with a wealth of experience from competing at the highest level throughout her life.
Holly Holm fights out of Jackson-Winklejohn MMA in Albuquerque, N.M., under 2010 coach of the year Greg Jackson, and also has an undefeated record of 9-0. Holm is a former boxing/kickboxing world champion, which is evident in her six knockouts in MMA competition. Holm is very athletic and brings a ton of experience into her bout with Rousey.
What’s at stake: Not only is the UFC world title on the line, but also the chance for Rousey to prove once again that she is the most dominant champion in UFC history.
On the other hand, if Holm wins, she becomes the new UFC bantamweight champion, which is a life long dream for any MMA fighter. A win over Rousey can springboard her to rock star status all around the world.
Keys to Victory: Rousey must use her boxing to close the distance on Holm, to get a clinch and into her judo throws for a takedown. Once on the ground, Rousey needs to look to submit Holm or do damage with strikes until the referee has to stop the fight.
Holm needs to keep the fight standing and use a long distance to stay away from Rousey’s clinch. Holm must use her kicks and throw combinations to damage Rousey on the feet until she can set up a knockout strike.
Deeper Look: Jedrzejczyk has a 10-0 record and fights out of Berkut Fight Club in Olsztyn, Poland. She is a former four-time European kickboxing Champion, known for throwing lots of combinations and being highly offensive in the cage. Jedrzejczyk has lots of experience striking, competing in Muay Thai for 10 years before beginning her MMA career. From there, it only took Jedrzejczyk three years to take the UFC by storm and win the strawweight championship.
Letourneau is 8-3 and trains out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla, which is considered one of the top MMA gyms in the world. Letourneau is undefeated in the UFC with three wins and has fought some of the world’s toughest women in her career.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk (L) and Valerie Letourneau face off during the UFC 193
What’s at stake: Jedrzejczykis considered one of the best strikers in the game since Chuck Liddell and a win over Valerie proves she is no fluke and is here to stay champion for a long time.
If Letourneau can beat Joanna, she will not only become champion but also establish herself as the No. 1 fighter in the strawweight division. Jedrzejczykis considered a dominant champion thus far and if Letourneau wins it will be a huge feather in her cap.
Keys to Victory: Jedrzejczyk needs to set a high pace from the opening bell and use her striking combinations to attack Letourneau’s head and body. Jedrzejczyk needs to wear Letourneau down with strikes on the feet until she can get the knockout.
Letourneau needs to set a high offense, as well, and look to keep Jedrzejczyk on the defense. To not allow Jedrzejczyk to settle into her game plan, Letourneau will need to be able to stay offensive with her striking and also be able to get takedowns. Once on the mat, Valerie needs to look for submissions and land ground and pound to get the win.
Deeper Look: Mark Hunt is a former K-1 kickboxing champion, fighting out of Auckland, New Zealand, with a professional MMA record of 10-10. Hunt is known for his heavy hands and chin made of granite. Hunt’s wrestling has improved over the years, as well as his ground game, since working with teams such as American Top Team. He brings a ton of experience in the striking department into his bout with Silva at UFC 193.
Antonio "BigFoot" Silva is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt who trains out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla., and sports a record of 19-7. He is huge for the weight class standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 265 pounds. Aside from his great ground game, he is known for having knockout power in his strikes, which is shown in his 14 career knockouts.
What’s at stake: Their first fight ended in a draw and is considered one of the best heavyweight fights in UFC history. Bragging rights are on the line. With a win from either man they prove that they’re the better fighter and also move one step closer to title contention. The loser goes back to the drawing board and has to work their way back up the UFC heavyweight ladder.
We hope Bigfoot and Hunt give us a show half as good as their first fight
Keys to Victory: Hunt needs to pressure Bigfoot and get on the inside to use his boxing. He’ll also need to stay offensive and test Bigfoot’s chin until his opening comes to get the knockout.
Bigfoot needs to use his kicks and keep a longer range to stay away from Hunt’s punching power. Bigfoot will need to push for takedowns and work for submissions. Once on the ground, Bigfoot’s chances of winning improve big time.
Overall, UFC 193 card is stacked from top to bottom with two championship fights and a rematch of one of the best heavyweight fights of all time. Although I don’t know for certain who will win or lose, I do know there will be some epic battles going down in Australia!
Myles Jury is a seven-year MMA veteran with 16 professional fights, including seven inside the Octagon. He is currently ranked 10th in the UFC’s lightweight division but eagerly awaits his featherweight debut. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.