Holly Holm vs. Marion Reneau: What We Learned from UFC Fight Night 71 Tilt

Riley Kontek@@BigRIlesMMAFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2015

USA Today

Wednesday night, the UFC held a rare weekday show from San Diego on Fox Sports 1. A show headlined by former heavyweight champ Frank Mir and Todd Duffee also featured women's MMA star Holly Holm in her second appearance in the UFC, taking on rising star Marion Reneau. The bout was billed high on the Fight Night 71 card and was considered a pivotal fight in the women's bantamweight division.

MMA writer Rob Tatum said this about Holm:

Rob Tatum @RobTatum303

Holm looked much more comfortable than her UFC debut. Once she found her range, Reneau had no idea what to do. #UFCSanDiego

Although it wasn't the best fight or the most competitive, Holm was able to secure a unanimous-decision win. She used a high volume of strikes, especially kicks, to overwhelm and eventually beat Reneau.

What did we learn from this bout? Let's take a look right now in examining the Holm-Reneau bout.

What We'll Remember from the Fight

In this fight, there was a distinct difference in Holm compared to her UFC debut.

In her first bout with the UFC in February 2015, Holm looked extremely nervous. She was shaking while walking to the cage and when she was standing there waiting for the fight to begin.

She fought like somebody who had never seen the bright lights before, to sum it up.

However, in this bout, she looked far more comfortable. She was not tentative, she was not visibly shaken and she showed shades of the scary fighter we watched growing up in the MMA regional scene.

That's what we'll remember, especially compared to her bout previous to this one, for sure.

What We Learned from Holm

She still has some work to do.

Holm even admitted in her post-fight interview with commentator Jon Anik that she still has work to put in. That's an honest assessment of herself, though it's not a wild assertion considering most people were probably thinking it.

For a world champion boxer, she certainly throws a lot of kicks as well. That has led to victories, even though she may want to gauge distance a tad better when she throws them at that high a volume.

What We Learned from Reneau

She was not the fighter we saw in her first two UFC bouts.

Reneau was extremely impressive in her first two outings with the company. She dominated Alexis Dufresne and finished Jessica Andrade in fun fashion earlier in 2015.

What she did against Holm erased the memory of those fights.

She held a distinct advantage on the ground with Holm, yet she was content to stand with her and didn't shoot in. She occasionally pulled guard, but that amounted to nothing.

Not a clever fight for the gym teacher from California.

What's Next for Holm?

I still love the idea of a bout with Germaine de Randamie for Holly Holm.

Holm is a world champion boxer. As for de Randamie, she is a world champion muay thai kickboxer.

That would make for a potentially fun fight, no?

What's Next for Reneau?

Reneau needs to go back to the drawing board and find what made her successful in previous bouts.

A bout against Leslie Smith could be a fun, barn-burner of a fight. Both are well-rounded, tough as nails and bring an exciting style.

The other option that looks entertaining could be against another loser on the San Diego card in Sarah Moras. Moras is the wrestler to Reneau's grappler, which could make for a fun mat war.


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