UFC Singapore: Holm vs. Correia Main Card Preview

UFC Fight Night 111 (UFC Singapore) Hollm Holm and Bethe Correia
Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

UFC Fight Night 111: Holm vs. Correia will go down this Saturday in Kallang, Singapore at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The main event of the evening will see former UFC bantamweight champion and multiple time boxing world champ Holly Holm take on former bantamweight title challenger Bethe Correia. It’s a critical fight. Holm, for the first time in her over 14 year professional combat sports career, enters a fight on a losing streak. That makes the UFC Singapore main event a must win situation as were she to lose, Holm would be deprived of the little relevance she still retains in the title picture.

Standing in her path is the Brazilian virago, Bethe Correia. Correia, since losing her perfect record to Ronda Rousey in humiliating fashion back at UFC 190, has been all over the map with a record of 1-1-1. The “Pitbull” has the golden opportunity to accelerate back in the contenders list by defeating the former champion Holm.

The co-main event will see another “Pitbull,” former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, take on former M-1 heavyweight champion Marcin Tybura. Just like the main-event, the co-main event finds a former champion, Arlovski, on a losing streak fighting for relevance against a lower ranked contender. Arlovski will enter the fight on a career low 4-fight losing streak. Tybura on the other hand is on a two fight finishing streak, with a Performance of the Night bonus to his name. UFC Singapore will also see the much awaited return of former UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos as he moves up to the welterweight division to take on former Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine.

4. Tarec Saffiedine vs. Rafael dos Anjos

The main card will be kicked off by former UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos (25-9) and former Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine (16-6). Dos Anjos will be moving up by a weight class for this one, making his debut in the UFC welterweight division. RDA will try to bounce back into the win column after a disappointing 2016. How disappointing? He first lost the opportunity to face Connor McGregor at the historic UFC 196, which resulted in him losing a colossal pay day. This was followed by RDA losing the title to Eddie Alvarez, then eventually ending his year with a loss to hot contender Tony Ferguson.

Tarec Saffiedine didn’t exactly have a great 2016 either. He started off strong, capturing a unanimous win over Jake Ellenberger, but couldn’t keep that momentum going for the remainder of the year. He dropped a unanimous decision to Rick Story, which was followed by a very controversial split decision loss to Dong Hyun Kim.

The two enter the fight with hopes of staying relevant in an already deep, exciting division. The winner of the fight will likely find himself facing a top ten contender. Dos Anjos, despite not fighting in his home weight class will be a favorite, and you can expect him to pick up the win.

3. Dong Hyun Kim vs. Colby Covington

Next on the card, welterweight Colby Covington (11-1) will step up to face South Korean “Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim (22-3, 1NC) in a welterweight match up. Colby Covington stands as one of the brightest prospects in the 170lb division today. The 29-year-old is currently on a three fight win streak, in which he has defeated the likes of fellow top rising star Bryan Barberena among others. Covington possesses amazing wrestling abilities and has a stellar submission game. However, he will be facing a significant step up in competition when he faces Kim. “Stun Gun” is one of the most decorated Judoka in the welterweight division. If Covington has amazing command on the ground, then Kim is just as impressive. Like his opponent at UFC Singapore, Kim too is on a three fight win streak. However, unlike Covington his last bout was a controversial split decision win — over Tarec Saffiedine. That said, either likely gets a relevant name if they manage to get a win on Saturday.

Covington enters the fight as a healthy favorite. However, there’s a solid chance that Kim gets the win. If the fight was to go distance, Kim would clearly have the upper hand, given his background. That may result in Covington needing a finish, a feat which only three of Kim’s twenty-five opponents to date have managed to achieve.

2. Andrei Arlovski vs. Marcin Tybura

The co-main event of the evening will see former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (25-14, 1nc) take on Marcin Tybura (15-2). This is a must win fight for Andrei as he is currently on a four fight losing streak. Really, that’s unheard of in the UFC unless you happen to be a top name heavyweight. Andrei has been on a similar skid in past but managed to not only bounce back but also make his way back to the UFC (more on that here). From an earlier op-ed on Arlovski, by Cageside’s Jay Anderson:

“Saturday at UFC Singapore, Andrei Arlovski will make his walk down to the UFC octagon for what may very well be the last time. Entering the night on four straight losses, he was too big a name for the UFC, deprived of it is of stars, to cut to this point. A fifth loss, however, will likely spell his exit from the promotion. Of course, having his career questioned is nothing new for “The Pitbull.” From 2009 to 2011, Arlovski (25–14 (1)) went on a similar four fight skid, one that started off with the infamous loss to Fedor Emelianenko. Then Brett Rogers, Bigfoot Silva, and Sergei Kharitonov followed suit. Most wrote Arlovski off then, questioning his chin, and place in a sport that seemed to have passed him by. Surprising many, he redesigned, rebuilt, thanks in large part to moving to the famed Jackson-Winklejohn camp in New Mexico. Yet it feels as if Arlovski, now thirty-eight years old, has cheated the MMA gods once before.”

Arlovski will be facing top prospect Marcin Tybura, who will try to use the former champ as a stepping stone to become relevant to the division.

Marcin Tybura enters as a heavy favorite in the match, and you can expect him to rack up the win here.

1. Holly Holm vs. Bethe Correia

The main event of UFC Singapore sees multiple time boxing world champion and former UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm take on former title challenger Bethe Correia. It’s a return to 135lbs for Holm. The two will lock horns in an attempt to enter the title picture once more and make a case for another shot at the gold. “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holly Holm will enter the fight on a career low three fight losing streak. Since stunning the world back in November 2015 by knocking out Ronda Rousey, Holm has dropped three straight fights, despite her being tabbed as a favorite in almost all of them. In her first title defense she dropped the belt to perennial contender Miesha Tate, and followed that up by losing a unanimous verdict to multiple time kickboxing world champion Valentina Shevchenko. Despite being on a two fight losing streak she got the golden opportunity to become the first woman to hold titles in two UFC weight classes in February when she fought Germaine De Randamie on UFC 208, but again lost the fight via a controversial decision.

To stay relevant to the bantamweight division (and any division), Holm needs to win. She will be facing Brazilian Bethe Correia Saturday in a bout that on paper favors the American. Correia is a former title challenger and holds a record of 10-2-1, in which she has defeated the likes of Jessica Eye and Shayna Baszler. Correia, however, has been inconsistent in her last three fights, running up a record of 1-1-1. Her sole win was a very controversial split decision against Eye.

Holm is entering the fight as a favorite. Despite being on a three fight losing streak she is expected to win the fight, with her last opponents considered more talented and well-rounded than Correia. On the top of that most people associate Correia with her loss to Rousey, a fight which lasted all of thirty-three seconds. Keep in mind, however, that the Rousey loss is one of only just two losses on Correia’s record. Few seem to have noticed the improvements the Brazilian has shown in her last few fights. Which means it wouldn’t be surprising to see Bethe Correia take the win at UFC Singapore.