When Ronda Rousey shook Holly Holm's hand after dropping the Women's Bantamweight title at UFC 193, Rousey looked like a student who had just been schooled for the first time by her new master. Few expected Holm to win this fight; she was a +525 underdog against Rousey, and the undefeated champion had yet to be seriously tested inside the Octagon. But Holm's coaches at Jackson-Winkeljohn were brimming with confidence. “It's just a math problem to us,” lead trainer Greg Jackson told reporters after the fight.

With that math problem solved, Holm moves on to fight Miesha Tate on Saturday, March 5 at UFC 196, taking place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Holm (–350) is the clear favorite at press time, with Tate trailing at +265. Before Holm came along, Tate was the only woman ever to take Rousey past the first round. Does the challenger have enough of a fighting chance at these odds?

Best Fighter Ever?

Holm (10-0 lifetime, 3-0 UFC) doesn't carry the same Q rating as Rousey outside the Octagon, but her background is arguably more impressive. After a brief undefeated run as an amateur kickboxer, Holm turned pro as a boxer and went on to win titles in three different weight classes while compiling a record of 33-2-3. Ring Magazine named Holm their Female Fighter of the Year in 2005 and 2006.

Then Holm made the transition to MMA in 2011, working her way through Bellator and Legacy FC before making her UFC debut in 2015. Her boxing and kickboxing skills were on full display in the Rousey fight; Holm was able to control the distance between her and the champion while also delivering effective strikes, including her signature head kick. She was exactly the right woman to beat Rousey, whose striking defense has never been her strong suit.

Mat Finish

Tate (17-5 lifetime, 4-2 UFC) isn't a polished defensive fighter, either. She's a quality grappler with a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a former Strikeforce bantamweight champion who has earned the respect of her peers. However, Tate has fended off just 51% of her opponents' significant strikes in MMA action, not much higher than Rousey's 44% defense rate.

To make matters worse, Tate is giving up two inches in height and four inches in reach to Holm, and the champ happens to be a southpaw, as well. If Tate wants to take this fight to the mat, she'll have to find a way to close the distance – Holm has yet to be taken down inside the Octagon. Raquel Pennington tried it five times in Holm's UFC debut, and Rousey once, all to no avail. Anything can happen once they touch gloves, but this clash of styles doesn't allow Tate many avenues to pull off the upset.


See all UFC 196 Odds here.


*Odds as of February 8, 2016