Holly Holm (L) punches Megan Anderson of Australia (L) in the fifth round in their featherweight bout during the UFC 225: Whittaker v Romero 2 event

The new year hasn’t arrived just yet, but there’s already some noteworthy fights getting booked for 2019.

One of the latest ones is Holly Holm vs. Aspen Ladd, a matchup that will test the mettle of one of the big rising stars in the women’s bantamweight division. The fight was heavily rumored, and on Friday, the UFC officially confirmed it.

Holly Holm, on the other hand, dismantled Megan Anderson in her last outing and a victory here would help her keep the momentum going. That fight was in June, and it will go in the books as Holm’s only fight of 2018. She currently sits at the #2 spot in the divisional rankings, behind number one contender Germaine de Randamie.

De Randamie has also only fought once in 2018, and whoever picks up a win sooner might have the best chance at facing current champion, Amanda Nunes. The pressure, however, is more on Holm. De Randamie is on a winning streak, after all, which includes a victory over Holm herself in 2017.

Aspen Ladd doesn’t have as much on the line in terms of title contention, as her career is still young, but she does have her undefeated record at stake and has a lot to gain. At 7-0, Ladd is at the #7 spot in the rankings and a win over the #2 contender would offer a huge benefit to her chances of taking the next step and contending for a title soon.

Ladd picked up a Performance of the Night bonus in her last outing, which was in October when she defeated Tonya Evinger by TKO. While Evinger is an experienced veteran and a good win, though, Holm is a step up in terms of technical skill and will be a larger challenge for Ladd. Her picking apart of Megan Anderson demonstrates just that, and while Holm may not be considered the most exciting fighter, it wouldn’t be a stretch to predict her defeating Ladd with superior tactics.

The fight is scheduled to take place at UFC 235, an event that will take place on March 2 in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena. It’s already shaping up to be a good card, and in addition to this fight, there’s also a scheduled bout between Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal as well as one featuring Robbie Lawler and controversial UFC newcomer Ben Askren. It’s interesting to see that the card has also picked up a fight that will have major implications for the women’s bantamweight rankings.

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