Holly Holm might be the next big thing going against Ronda Rousey.
Holm was able to improve her career from being a champion boxer with just a mere possibility of making it big in the mixed martial arts to a fighter that has the makes of going up against champion Ronda Rousey.
Surprisingly, this happened all before Holm ever had an agreement with the UFC. Holm made waves in New Mexico’s Route 66 Casino to the preliminary bouts in Bellator MMA, and finally to the Legacy Fighting Championship bout. Ronda Rousey’s line up of upcoming opponents now might include a new one.
Things got a little more serious when Holm’s manager released a statement that would somehow be the terms if ever the UFC wants Holm under their belt. Lenny Fresquez, Holm’s manager, is looking into a six-figure salary range and a quicker route on fighting for an MMA title if ever the UFC is considering getting Holm under their belt.
In an interview last December 2013, Fresquez said that as of the moment, the UFC doesn’t have that many female fights that can be matched up with Holly. He also said, “We’re just waiting for them to give us the right opportunity to fight Ronda Rousey, because we want a title fight.” For Fresquez, he thinks that Holly can represent UFC better than Rousey. “Holly’s a franchise, as you can see. She’s not just your normal fighter; she’s more of a franchise,” he added.
Upon learning about these statements, it did not take long before the UFC president released some choice words for Fresquez. After a meeting with Holly’s manager, Dana White emphasized that the organization was not interested in signing up Holly at all. What White failed to realize this back-and-forth exchange of the fighter only added to her presence in the industry and eventually made her more valuable.
A few months after winning her MMA fight for the seventh time and defeating Juliana Werner for the Legacy FC bantamweight crown, the UFC eventually changed their minds and welcomed Holly as one of their newest fighters.
Hold was previously scheduled to go against Raquel Pennington at UFC 181, but she had to postpone it because of a neck injury she had while training for the bout. Back then, it may seemed very unfortunate for Holm’s UFC debut to be postponed, but it turned out to be a pretty good opportunity down the road. Holm’s debut fight with Pennington got rebooked in UFC 184 card, the same event where Rousey fought against Cat Zingano.
With Holly’s fight taking place in the same even where Rousey would have her bout, this was a perfect opportunity for her to showcase the skills that she got. What made matters even better is Holly’s fight got promoted to co-headliner fight of the night.
Holly was able to win against Pennington as expected. However, it didn’t go too well as planned. Winning by split-decision did not make much noise as what a debut fight should have.
During the post-fight interview, Holly said, “[Before the fight] everybody said, ‘Do you think you’re going to live up to the hype? I said, ‘No,’” Holm recalled. “The movie that comes out that everybody talks about that is the most awesome movie, when you go watch it, it’s usually not as good as they say. If you go check it out with no expectations it’s like, ‘Wow, that was good.’ I feel like that’s what it was.”
Even though Holly wasn’t too happy with how her fight went, she knew that this was a blessing in disguise. “I’m glad that my best performance of my life wasn’t my first fight. I’m glad that I know I have more to prove,” she added.