December 12, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

A lot riding for Correia, Holm at UFC Singapore

THE Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) plays Singapore this weekend, featuring the women’s bantamweight clash between former champion Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm and Bethe “Pitbull” Correia, a fight that one observer views as something that has a lot riding on it for both fighters.

Playing under “UFC Fight Night 111,” the Southeast Asian UFC event will take place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium tomorrow, with “Holm vs. Correia” headlining.

Considering where the main protagonists are at this stage of their respective careers, local combat sports writer Mike Miguel believes the fight about to happen carries a lot of implications.

“Holm needs this win simply to end her slump and get her groove back. While she remains at number five female bantamweight, Holm hasn’t tasted victory since defeating Ronda Rousey for the title two years ago and has lost three consecutive (with the latest for the featherweight belt). In spite of that, she remains in a good position, rankings-wise, and a victory over Correia would give her the step towards the right direction,” said Mr. Miguel when asked by BusinessWorld for his thoughts on the main fight at UFC 111.

“[For Correia] Winning over the former champ will serve as a springboard to go as high as top five. Currently looking outside the top 10 of the female bantamweight rankings, it will give her the momentum she needs for another title run,” he added.

Mr. Miguel went on to say that the outcome of the fight is as open as it gets as Misses Holm (10-3) and Correia (10-2-1) are both equally capable of winning it.

“If Bethe can dictate the pace and get the better of their exchanges, she has a good chance of pulling an upset against the former UFC women’s bantamweight titleholder. But you can never underestimate the heart of a champion and I expect Holly to do the necessary changes to win this fight,” said Mr. Miguel, who writes for local sites and Tiebreaker Times.

As for the return of the UFC in Singapore, Mr. Miguel said it was a “logical” move for the organization to do so.

“In the UFC’s return to the region under the WME-IMG (William Morris Endeavor and International Management Group) ownership, Singapore is the most logical choice since it has established its regional office there. It gives them the familiarity and the world-class infrastructure it needs for its return to the region,” he said even as he expressed optimism that the UFC, bought by WME-IMG last year, would return to the Philippines sometime in the future.

Back in 2015, the UFC played its first-ever show in the Philippines with Frankie “The Answer” Edgar and Urijah “The California Kid” Faber headlining at the Mall of Asia Arena.

In other fights in the card of UFC Fight Night 111, heavyweight Andrei “The Pit Bull” Arlovski (#8) battles Marcin “Tybur” Tybura (#13), welterweight “The Stun Gun” Dong Hyun Kim (#7) faces off with Colby “Chaos” Covington, and welterweight Tarec “Sponge” Saffiedine (#11) collides with Rafael Dos Anjos (#5).

In the Philippines, Cignal TV, the country’s foremost direct-to-home (DTH) company, is the home of the UFC after the two groups agreed to an extensive deal that will see the UFC beamed on various platforms. -- Michael Angelo S. Murillo