First and Worst: Week of May 18 – May 24, 2015

By Adam Martin

First and Worst is an ongoing series for, where every week Adam will make his pick for the best and worst newly-announced fight of the past week (Monday to Sunday). If you’d like to see any additions to this series, hit him up on Twitter @MMAdamMartin.

First: Holly Holm vs. Marion Reneau, UFC Fight Night 71

My pick for the best new fight announced this past week is the women’s bantamweight fight between Holly Holm and Marion Reneau, which is due to take place on July 15 at UFC Fight Night 71 at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California. This fight is expected to open up the main televised card.

This is an awesome fight, and could produce one of the next title contenders for UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey. We all know the hype behind Holm. A former multi-time boxing champion, Holm made the transition to MMA a few years ago and hasn’t lost since, going 8-0, including winning her UFC debut via split decision over Raquel Pennington. At 33 years old, the clock is ticking on Holm to get to the title, and a win over the red-hot Reneau would certainly qualify her.

For someone who had no fanfare after being signed from the UFC, Reneau has really performed incredibly since stepping into the Octagon. Despite being 37 years of age, she’s now 2-0 in the UFC with two upset wins, the first coming via lopsided decision over Alexis Dufresne at UFC 182 and the second coming via first-round submission over Jessica Andrade in her last outing at UFC Fight Night 61. Reneau is a dark horse contender at 135 lbs if I’ve ever seen one, and while she will be the underdog to Holm in this fight, it’s hard to sleep on her.

Both of these ladies are in their thirties and both are coming off of wins. Both love to stand and bang, and while I’d give Reneau the edge on the ground, Holm does have solid takedown defence, and if she can keep this fight standing, it will be interesting to see who has the better striking for MMA. I’m assuming it will be Holm, but after seeing how Reneau performed in her first few fights, how can you bet against her? This is a great matchup, and kudos to Sean Shelby for putting it together.

UFC Fight Night 71

Holly Holm vs. Marion Reneau

Click the stars to rate your anticipation for this fight

Worst: Trevor Smith vs. Dan Miller, TUF 21 Finale

My pick for the worst new fight announced this past week is the upcoming middleweight bout between Trevor Smith and Dan Miller, which takes place at the TUF 21 Finale on July 12 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. This bout is expected to be a part of the preliminary card.

To be honest I’m a little unsure why either of these guys is still in the UFC. In the case of Smith, he’s 2-3 with decision wins over Tor Troeng and Brian Houston, and losses to Caio Magalhaes, Thales Leites, and Ed Herman. I get that his losses have come to fairly solid competition, but both of his wins are over guys not in the UFC anymore. He is a fairly exciting fighter, but with a 3-5 record over his last eight bouts dating back to Strikeforce, it’s surprising he’s still on the roster.

The same goes for Miller. The veteran is 6-6 overall in the UFC, but he hasn’t won a fight in the three years since his win over Ricardo Funch at UFC on FX 4. In fact, of the six wins in the Octagon on his resume, not one man is still in the UFC. He’s also lost three of his last four fights, and was brutally knocked out by Jordan Mein the last time we saw him at UFC 158. I have a feeling Joe Silva has a soft spot for Miller because of what he and his family have had to go through due to his son’s illness, but on fighting terms alone, it’s surprising he wasn’t released a while ago.

Maybe this fight is a scrappy, fun affair, and maybe it’s a good way to see which of Smith and Miller deserve to stick around a bit longer. But it’s not a great fight on paper, and it’s not one that will get many fans excited for it.

TUF 21 Finale

Trevor Smith vs. Dan Miller

Click the stars to rate your anticipation for this fight.


UFC Fight Night 71: Mir vs. Duffee takes place on July 15, 2015 at Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, California.

Click the stars to rate how good you think UFC Fight Night 71 will be.

What Do You Think of This Fight/Event?