“Ronda is an emotional fighter and she has overwhelmed people with that pressure sometimes and it’s worked for her in the past. It’s just Holly is at another level when it comes to intellect… Footwork is always the key for Holly Holm in her fights and Holly has held back a bit in the past and that was all part of the plan. We knew we would fight Ronda one day and Holly showed why she is now the best in the world.”
-Mike Winkeljohn spoke with Yahoo! Sports in Australia after UFC 193, and said that his fighter intentionally held some things back in her first two UFC bouts knowing a fight with Rousey was the end goal.
Penick’s Analysis: One of the reasons few gave Holm much of a chance against Rousey was because of how frankly unimpressive the wins over Raquel Pennington and Marion Reneau were. If she indeed wasn’t showing all her cards in those fights, skirting by in order to get to the Rousey fight eventually, it was brilliant. Seriously, brilliant. If it was intentional, it worked to perfection, because no one, Rousey included, was ready for it.
[Photo (c) Matt Roberts via USA Today Sports]