UFC 225 has been sort of a black hole in late spring/early summer MMA schedule, pulling in interest from all the events surrounding. While the promotion put on four cards in the month of May, few but the most dedicated fans seemed to know it. All eyes are on the upcoming June 9th PPV in Chicago, along with next month’s UFC 226 card in Las Vegas.
The Chicago event will feature two title fights, as middleweight champion Robert Whittaker defends his belt in a rematch against Yoel Romero, and Rafael dos Anjos faces Colby Covington for an interim version of the UFC’s welterweight title. Ahead of those bouts, former Invicta featherweight champion Megan Anderson makes her long awaited promotional debut against former bantamweight champion Holly Holm, in what is likely a title eliminator for a shot at Cris Cyborg.
In a recent interview with Submission Radio, Anderson spoke about the long road to her debut, getting a spot on the main card, and how she feels she matches up with Holm as well as the featherweight champ.
“I think I match up pretty well,” Anderson said of the upcoming bout against Holm. “I think they’re gonna be very surprised at the changes in my game. And I think Holly is a very skilled athlete and she’s been doing this for a really long time and I can see where people who don’t know about Invicta or haven’t watched a lot of women’s MMA outside of UFC may not know who I am so they kind of jump to the conclusion, ‘Oh, she’s not as tough as Holly, she’s gonna be out-boxed or out this.’
“Well, I’m like, this isn’t a boxing match, this is MMA, this is Mixed Martial Arts, this isn’t one discipline. And Holly tends to really only just fight one discipline when it comes to her fights that I’ve watched in the cage, and that’s where I’m different. I incorporate everything into my game, and people just haven’t seen that yet, and that’s something that we’re really excited to really show, that I’m not just a striker, that my ground game, my grappling is up there as well, and I see me matching up really well with Holly. I’m a lot bigger than her, I’m gonna be a lot stronger, I’m gonna be a lot longer and I’m just excited to showcase that.”
Recently, Cyborg made it clear that she feels the matchup between Holm and Anderson is more about the UFC hoping to set up a rematch with Holm than potentially building Anderson. To Anderson’s ears, that sounds more like wishful thinking on Cyborg’s part than anything else.
“I don’t really care what Cris says or Holly says or what this person says, because at the end of the day it’s just Holly and I in that cage, no one else,” Anderson stated. “And all I can control is me and my performance on June 9th, and the rest is all speculation. The rest is all, ‘What if this person wins, what if that person wins?’ That all doesn’t matter until the result of June 9th happens. So, Cris can say whatever she wants.
“You know, A: she’s fought Holly before. She’s fought her and she’s beat her, she knows she can beat her again. I’m unfamiliar territory for Cris. She hasn’t fought me. I’m young and up and coming. I’m improving with every fight, I’m getting better, I’m coming into my prime. I’m a big threat to her, so of course she’s going to say she thinks that the UFC is trying to set up a Holly rematch. I’ve been underestimated and the least experienced in every single one of my fights, so what’s new? If experience won fights then I’d be on a losing streak, but I’m not (laughs).”
UFC 225 goes down at the United Center on Saturday, June 9th, in Chicago, Il. Along with the title fights, the event will feature the return of former pro-wrestling icon CM Punk. He’ll be taking on Mike Jackson to open the PPV event. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and updates as the card approaches.