Holly Holm continues her quest for one last shot at UFC gold on Saturday night when she takes on No. 10 Mayra Bueno Silva. Holm (8-6 UFC) is best known for her headbutt of former champion Ronda Rousey at UFC 193. The massive upset forever changed the course of women’s MMA and made Holm the bantamweight champion. in only her third fight since joining the promotion. . Holm’s reign was short, as she surrendered the title to Miesha Tate in her next fight and spent the last eight years looking to reclaim it.
It’s hard to believe that nearly a decade has passed since Holm’s historic victory in 2015. The bantamweight contender is 0-4 in title fights since dethroning Rousey in the of this eventful night. However, Holm’s persistence should pay off with the division up for grabs following the retirement of Amanda Nunes. Raquel Pennington and Julianna Peña are expected to secure the top spot in the vacated belt, with Holm hiding in the shadows for the winner.
First, Holm has to handle business against a very dangerous opponent in Bueno Silva. Holm is currently the betting favorite on BetMGM at -175, with Bueno Silva listed as a +145 underdog. I will analyze where the price value of the silver line and options lies in the prop market, as well as several different betting strategies that can be applied to this five-round main event.
Holly Holm (-175) against Mayra Bueno Silva (+145)
He’s the perfect opponent for Holm, considering all the surrounding factors. Bueno Silva is on a two-game winning streak and is a dangerous enough threat to bolster Holm’s case for a title shot. Holm has a very specific skill set at this stage of his career. She has a solid shot from distance and can use her physique to wear down smaller opponents against the cage or on the mat with optimal control. She will need to be careful as Bueno Silva has quite a bit of pop in the melee and can quickly lock down lightning if you leave a limb exposed in a stampede. While some punters will rightly view Holm’s age as a red flag, it’s her experience that has given me comfort that she can operate effectively in these positions without making costly mistakes.
Holm has trained at Jackson-Wink MMA for her entire career and is always ready to fight with a solid strategic game plan, even if it’s not visually appealing to fans. Against a more reckless and undisciplined opponent, I would have been more cautious in supporting “The Preacher’s Daughter”. But I expect Holm to land from range and grind down the smaller Bueno Silva throughout five rounds, pushing his opponent’s cardio into uncharted territory. Holm has gone five full rounds in his previous two fights before his latest victory over Yana Santos, as this will be Bueno Silva’s first time competing for more than three rounds in the UFC. Holm is a workhorse who has notched nine kills while dominating control time from 25:08 to 2:46 in his last three fights. I expect Holm to get takedowns at will, but also be able to keep Bueno Silva at bay if she feels it’s too dangerous on the mat. Bet: Holly Holm (-175)
Props and round bets
Whenever Holm is a clear favorite, the total will correlate to the fight ending in a decision. More than 4.5 rounds is priced at a juicy -210, while you can get a slight discount on the fight leading to a decision at -185. While I’m confident this one lasts the full five rounds, there’s no value in pricing more than Holm’s moneyline, as Silva’s winning equity in this scenario is minimal. It is best to bet on Holm will win by tied decision (+100). Each of Holm’s last four wins and six of his last seven fights have gone to the judges’ scorecards. A knockout loss to Amanda Nunes was the only one of Holm’s fights to end remotely in the past five years. While Holm’s age and experience give him advantages that should make the difference in the fight, it’s clear his finishing potential has been significantly diminished at this late stage in his career. Bet: Holly Holm by decision +100
Is there value in hedging against Holm?
The longer a fighter extends his career, the more bettors pay attention to it. Capturing a fighter’s decline can be very profitable if you manage to project the exact fight when a veteran falls off the cliff. At 41, that reality becomes a bigger possibility with every fight for Holm. Stylistic Showdown offers bettors the chance to hedge against surprise using a bet on Bueno Silva winner by submission at +350 as a hedge. It’s clearly the most viable route to victory for the dangerous Brazilian jui-jitsu practitioner, who has won five of her last six fights by submission. I haven’t covered personally, as I’m confident that Holm’s experience will prevail. It’s still a solid option for those more worried about Holm entering the later stages of his career.
At odds of +350, you only need to risk 28.6% to flip a full unit, or 50% of a unit to cover the full money line price of -175. If you want to be more specific, you can place several smaller bets on the exact rounds she wins the submission, assuming that the likelihood of Bueno Silva catching Holm early in the fight is higher because the fighters are less sweaty. Prizes range from Bueno Silva winning by submission in Round 1 to +1200 in Round 5 to +2800 at BetMGM. I’m unlikely to protect myself personally, but there are plenty of opportunities.