Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Laila Ali Predicts Holm-Rousey II Will Be The Same Or Worse As Their First Fight For Rousey

Former UFC title contender Chael Sonnen recently interviewed former women’s boxing mega-star and the daughter of “The Greatest Of All-Time” Muhammad Ali — Laila Ali — for a new episode of “Beyond The Fight” this week. The former undefeated women’s boxing champion got the attention of the MMA world by making a bold prediction for a potential Holly Holm vs. Ronda Rousey rematch.

Ali spoke to “The American Gangster” about her own personal history with Holm before ultimately explaining why she feels Holm will look as good or better if she retains her title against Miesha Tate at UFC 196 and fights Rousey in a rematch in November, which is what UFC President Dana White stated was the plan during an interview on Wednesday.

According to Laila, the big reasons why Rousey was picked apart and ultimately knocked out inside of two rounds was due to a few factors, including what Ali alluded to being a false sense of confidence on Rousey’s part in her belief that she was the best fighter in the world, a lack of respect for Holm’s striking ability in particular, and an extreme lack of head movement during standup exchanges.

“I personally do not think that she’ll beat Holly Holm [in a rematch],” said Ali during the interview with Chael Sonnen, which you can listen to via the video player embedded above. “I think that if she fought her again, then the same thing and worse will happen. Holly Holm was just getting warmed up. You know what I’m saying? She was just getting warmed up. She had nerves, too. This was her big moment.”

Ali continued, explaining how she could tell almost immediately that Rousey wasn’t going to beat Holm in their first meeting at UFC 193 last November, despite the fact that Holm was one of the biggest betting underdogs in MMA history going into the Octagon at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.

“I noticed right away when the fight started, I was like, ‘She doesn’t have any head movement,'” Ali said. “She came straight in and she got busted in the face so many times where she had a bloody nose.

“I saw that the girl she fought wasn’t really a challenge for her, but I was able to see her mistakes. Not moving your head is a big mistake when you’re getting into the ring with someone who has a boxing background.”

Additionally, Ali echoed post-fight sentiments shared by many fans, as well as many people who are personally involved in the sport of MMA in regards to Ronda Rousey not being as good as people thought, but rather a product of the UFC’s excellent promoting abilities mixed with a weak level of opposition in Women’s MMA.

“People hype fighters up, but at the end of the day, what did Ronda Rousey have? 12 fights, something like that,” Ali said. “And they’re calling her the best fighter ever, and I see that she truly believes that about herself.

“You’re only as good as the opposition you face. There were some girls out there I never had the opportunity to face. But I saw Ronda Rousey kind of act like she really does believe that she’s the best female fighter in the world. I was thinking, wow, she hasn’t even faced some of the other girls that are considered to be the best.”

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