UFC 196 Preview

ufc-196When a fighter reaches the top of their profession and wins a belt their career quickly becomes about legacy.

They are now considered a champion and they have achieved their ultimate goal in their careers but when they eventually retire from the world of MMA altogether what will be said about them.

Will they lose their next fight and be one of the many one-time champions who couldn’t hold onto the belt or will they begin a run and put their name among the best in the world.

That is the question facing two champions at UFC 196 as they look to build their legacy after taking belts away from some of the greatest fighters in the promotion.

First up it will be Holly Holm whose legacy has already started to be written when she knocked out Ronda Rousey to take the women’s bantamweight division.

Right now that is her legacy though as she is the one who beat Rousey but that is not what she wants her legacy to be as she wants much more.

She may not be the self-promotion type or the one that every talk show wants to have but there is no doubt that she has the talent to achieve her goal.

More than just being the woman who beat Rousey she wants to be the best that ever will be in the women’s fighting game and so far her striking hasn’t made anyone doubt that she can do just that.

Against Rousey, Holm was simply too technical and powerful on the feet sticking and moving like she had done when she won multiple boxing championships.

Now she will look to separate herself from that one fight though and begin a run with the title that can rival the one she ended.

It won’t be easy though as a new champion means the best fighters are back in the mix including a pioneer of the sport Miesha Tate.

After being promised another fight against Rousey only to be passed over for Holm, Tate will get her chance to fight for the title again.

Tate was a champion before Holm began fighting in MMA and that experience could be a big difference as there is a way to beat Holm.

Holm is a striker and a very good one but nobody has tested her ground game yet and Tate brings a different level of wrestling than Holm has seen before.

Getting Holm to the ground will be a challenge but if Tate can she might have an advantage and if she decides to stand she will definitely bring a different level of technical fighting than Holm has faced.

Still though Holm looked very good against Rousey and in all of her other fights as she brings a level of striking sophistication that hasn’t been seen in the division.

Fr that reason Holm will take the win and set-up a massive rematch against Rousey when the former champion returns to the UFC and gets her shot to win back the belt she lost in the biggest upset in UFC history.

With Holm’s legacy beginning to take form after her win at UFC 196 the focus will go to a fighter that has created his own legacy largely thanks to his mouth.

Conor McGregor is one of the loudest fighters that the UFC has ever seen as there is simply nobody and has never been anybody that can pump up a fight as big as the Irishman.

The thing about McGregor is that his bite seems to be bigger than his bark as he not only trash talks but predicts his fights with frightening accuracy.

In every UFC fight he has told the media how and when he will win and in every fight, he has made good on his promise.mma-sidebar.fw

His latest was a 13-second knockout of the consensus #1 pound for pound fighter in the world, Jose Aldo to take the Featherweight title.

When he entered the UFC in 2013 he immediately stated that he was going to take over the promotion and the featherweight title was the first step.

After the win, he set out his plan to truly take over when he told every one of his plans to move through divisions and begin holding multiple titles at the same time.

The first was supposed to be the lightweight division when the UFC gave him an immediate title fight against Rafael dos Anjos in McGregor’s chance to get a second title.

Eleven days before the fight dos Anjos was forced to drop out with a broken foot and so the UFC scrambled to find a replacement, although they had no shortage of willing participants

They settled on Nate Diaz who had just come off of his best performance in December and called out McGregor after his hand was raised.

Diaz couldn’t make 155 lbs so the fight was changed to 170 as McGregor gets an early look at the welterweight division, another division that he said he was going to dominate.

Diaz is no slouch though as his Jiu Jitsu is great and if there was one thing that McGregor has shown in previous fights it is that his ground game is lacking.

Against Chad Mendes, he struggled on the ground and was easily taken down, although according to McGregor that was the plan to tire Mendes out.

Diaz might be smart to test that part of his game because nobody has done it yet but knowing Diaz he prefers to brawl.

Diaz tries to get fighters to come forward and challenge him only to unleash heavy strikes that knock most fighters out.

McGregor won’t do that though and trying to hit him is proving to be tougher every fight and he will wait for the perfect time to strike rather than wading into a brawl.

If Diaz gets this fight to the ground it will be eye opening on just how well-rounded McGregor truly is but if the fight stays up expect a win from McGregor who has predicted a first round knockout.

Both Holm and McGregor will continue to put fights up into their legacy at UFC 196 as Holm avoids being a one-hit wonder and McGregor continues to be the biggest draw that the UFC has seen.

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