UFC on ESPN 16: Irene Aldana vs. Holly Holm - MMA Picks, Predictions

UFC on ESPN 16: Irene Aldana vs. Holly Holm - MMA Picks, Predictions Photo by Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Holly Holm vs. Irene Aldana

Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 10:00 PM (Flash Forum)

The Line: Irene Aldana -107 / Holly Holm -113 -- Over/Under: 4.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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Holly Holm and Irene Aldana fight Saturday night during UFC on ESPN 16 at the Flash Forum.

Holly Holm enters this fight with a 13-5 record and has won 62 percent of her fights by knockout. Holm has split her last 10 fights and is coming off a January win over Raquel Pennington. Holm is averaging 2.75 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 35 percent. Holm is averaging 0.50 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 27 percent. Holm is coming off a decision victory at UFC 246 where she landed 81 total strikes and 48 percent of her significant strikes. It was a solid performance overall and Holm now has a chance to get two victories in the same calendar year for the first time since 2015. At almost 39 years old there’s going to be no surprises with Holm, as she comes from a boxing and kickboxing background, and she does her best when fighting from a distance where she can land power shots and throw some vicious kicks to the body. Holm will press forward at times and does a wonderful job of landing combinations and pushing the pace. Holm is a blue belt in BJJ and defends takedowns at a good enough percentage to force her opponent to fight her fight. Holm also has good footwork, is an effective counterpuncher and works well behind her jab. This will be Holm’s first career fight in Abu Dhabi.

Irene Aldana enters this fight with a 12-5 record and has won 50 percent of her fights by knockout. Aldana has won five of her last six fights and is coming off a December win over Ketlen Vieira. Aldana is averaging 6.16 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 38 percent. Aldana is averaging 0.28 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. Aldana is coming off a knockout victory at UFC 245 that earned performance of the night honors. Aldana is now 5-3 under the UFC banner and her recent performance should have everybody on notice. Aldana comes from a boxing background and her work rate is unmatched, as she walks down her opponent with constant combinations and isn’t afraid to trade in the pocket. Aldana puts together some clean combinations with overhands, uppercuts and has a vicious ground and pound to end the fight. Aldana also mixes in hard knees in the clinch, and while she hasn’t shown much ground game in the UFC, she does have three submission victories in her career, two coming via rear-naked choke. This will be Aldana’s first career fight in Abu Dhabi.

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Holm is going to be the favorite here because of her experience and technique. However, Holm has been hit or miss since her victory a few years ago over Ronda Rousey, and you’re never sure what you’re going to get from her on any given night. Aldana is a pit bull in that octagon with legit knockout power and a motor that never stops running. While she’s not exactly a young up and comer at 32 years old, Aldana is somebody who could quickly rise in this division and soon challenge for the belt. Aldana’s striking and aggressiveness is a combination that should get her hand raised here.

I’ll back Aldana and the slightly cheaper price.

See Who The Experts Picked To Win This One

Randy’s Pick Irene Aldana -107

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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