The heat just got turned up on UFC 219. In an interview with Submission Radio, Holly Holm’s coach, Mike Winkeljohn, predicted a knockout win for Holm against Cris Cyborg. In the interview, Winkeljohn said, “You know what, behind the scenes when we fought Ronda we were pretty confident that we had the proper game plan to beat Ronda.” “Everybody thought we were crazy. Everyone thought Holly was crazy when she first fought Christy Martin back in the early days in boxing because Christy Martin knocked everyone out, and Holly made that look easy.“ “And she had what I call that ‘Christy Martin moment’ where Christy tried to throw a punch at her, Holly slipped under and then Christy almost went through the ropes.” “Guess what? Ronda did the same thing, and it’s gonna happen in the Cris Cyborg fight, she’s gonna have that same moment.” Winkeljohn continued in the interview by saying, “Oh, Holly’s stopping Cris Cyborg probably later in the fight. You know, round four, round five she’s gonna finish the fight, shock the world again.”
With a win, Holm will give Cyborg her very first MMA loss and will also become the new UFC women’s featherweight champion. UFC 219 Holm vs. Cyborg takes place on December 30th, 2017.
Heydorn’s Analysis: I don’t buy Winkeljohn’s premise that this fight with Holm will be similar to the Rousey fight. Cyborg is a totally different fighter than Rousey was. Cyborg’s bigger, faster, and stronger. Holm will have to do more damage to knockout Cyborg than she needed to in order to take care of Rousey. This fight is going to be different and if the gameplan is to treat it exactly like the Rousey fight, team Holm could be in for some trouble on December 30th.
FRIDAY NEWS NOTEBOOK
–Luke Rockhold brushes off Kelvin Gastelum. In an interview with Submission Radio, Luke Rockhold loudly shrugged off comments made by Kelvin Gastelum. In the interview, Rockhold said, “I know I’ve proven myself.” “I’ve accomplished things in this sport, whereas little m**gets like Kelvin Gastelum haven’t. I’ve destroyed Chris Weidman, which he got destroyed by Weidman, so it’s like ehh [shrugs].” “This kid hasn’t beaten really anybody and done anything in this sport, and for him to run his mouth, it’s pretty funny. It’s laughable. He’ll find out real if he continues his efforts at 185. I’d slap that kid down real quick. Real quick.” The loud comments came after Gastelum knocked out former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping at UFC Shanghai and claimed that Robert Whittaker was angling to fight Rockhold because Rockhold was the easier fight.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Rockhold vs. Gastelum goes into the category of fights I would definitely like to see in 2018. They’ve set the table nicely with this scrum and Gastelum’s knockout against Bisping puts him in a better position to talk big like he has.
–Tim Elliott vs. Pietro Menga is canceled for UFC on Fox Saturday night. Due to Menga failing to make weight, the Tim Elliott vs. Pietro Menga fight on Saturday at UFC on Fox is canceled. Menga was added to this fight on two weeks notice to replace Justin Scoggins who had to bow out due to injury. According to Ariel Helwani he experienced kidney problems during the cut and had to go to the hospital. Elliott was still offered the fight with the weight difference but he declined. Elliott made the 125 weight cut and will be awarded his show money for the fight. Via Twitter, Elliott argued that he deserved his win money as well.
I should not get half my pay because other fighters can't do their jobs, first opponent got injured, seconds missed weight. pic.twitter.com/4IwgGEmenS
— Tim Elliott (@TElliott125) December 15, 2017
Heydorn’s Analysis: I agree with Elliott on this one. The guy did all he was asked to do. The house is filled, the media promotion was completed, and he made weight. He should get his full pay.
–Fabricio Werdum fined for boomerang incident. Werdum was fined $600 for throwing a boomerang at Colby Covington during UFC Fight Night Sydney weekend. The story was first reported by 9 News in Australia.
–The Bellator 191 weigh-in results for tonight’s fight are in and are as follows:
Michael McDonald (137.6) vs. Peter Ligier (135.8)
Valerie Letourneau (125.8) vs. Kate Jackson (125.5)
James Thompson (266) vs. Phil De Fries (261)
Mohammad Yahya (163) vs. Ash Griffiths (170.5)
Jeremy Petley (146.4) vs. Lewis Monarch (146)
NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS NEWS: THURSDAY NEWS DIGEST: UFC heavyweight champion, Stipe Miocic, speaks on his next opponent, Francis Ngannou (w/ Heydorn’s analysis)