Julianna Pena Would Be An Ideal Comeback Fight For Holly Holm

By Zamir Bueno
Feb. 19, 2017

Throughout her MMA career, Holly Holm has shown a willingness to surrender octagon or cage space in an attempt to force the opponent to be the aggressor and close the distance. This strategy gives her a chance to pick up offensive tendencies and defensive flaws she could exploit during the fight. For instance, during the fight against Raquel Pennington, Holm realized that Pennington was coming towards her in a straight line with the hands at chest height which meant that the head and body were wide open. Due to this, every time Pennington would get within striking range Holm would try to land a straight left to the head or right side kick in an attempt to make Pennington stop her progress. This strategy allowed Holm to get the victory because she was able to be the more effective striker and move out of range before Pennington could land a counter.

[Holly Holm vs Raquel Pennington : UFC 184]

Therefore, Julianna Pena would be an ideal bounce-back fight for Holly Holm because she has shown a propensity to constantly move forward and throw the left jab followed by the straight right hand in an attempt to get her opponents to focus on blocking the combination. If the opponent decides to stand still and blocks the combination, it gives her a small window of opportunity to get the fight to the ground. During this tiny window, she will attempt to get a body lock followed by an inside trip on the right leg, or she will push her opponents back to the fence and then go for an inside trip. However, this strategy can put her in real danger because she maintains her hands near the chin at all times which means that her stomach is completely exposed. As a result, Holm will repeatedly target that area with a right side kick which will make her take a few steps back to avoid it thus giving Holm a window to get out of range. Eventually, Holm should win the fight because Pena won't be able to get in grappling range to impose her game plan. 

[Jessica Eye vs Julianna Peña]