The newly signed UFC bantamweight, Holly Holm (7-0) spoke with Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten on Inside MMA Friday to give her thoughts on the new signing and the UFC’s bantamweight division.
There were talks for a while between Holm’s management and the UFC on the potential signing of the Jackson-WinkelJohn fighter, the deal finally came to fruition last Friday when Dana White announced the news on twitter.
“Even before I think there was a lot of talk when we had our first meeting with the UFC, so people just got really into it. I knew it would be a while before we would come to where we both agreed on little details and things like that,” Holm said, detailing the process of the negotiations. “I have great people that I’m surrounded by so I just let them do that, and keep me updated along the way, and here we are.
Following the signing, there were instant rumblings on the internet about the potential Holly Holm vs. Ronda Rousey bout. While the talk about a potential fight between the two had started back in 2013, when Holly Holm really began getting noticed in women’s MMA—won 4 straight bouts inside Bellator and Legacy FC—this now becomes more of a reality with the signing. Holm will fight whoever the UFC gives her, but doesn’t want to be thrown to the wolves right away.
“I’m just going to let them kinda, give me my opponents,” Holm said.
“Whoever they set me up with, I never have picked who I fight in my entire career and I don’t really want to start now. I don’t want to be thrown to the wolves, but I definitely want to take challenges. So I kinda just let the people around me lead the way and I’ll take the challenge as it comes.”
However Holm does feel an eventual fight against the UFC women’s bantamweight champion is on the road ahead, she’s in the sport to make it to the top, and in order to do that she would have to beat Rousey.
“Ronda’s obviously the one to beat, she’s the one that has the belt. Is she doing great? Absolutely. I really admire her for going in and she’s really been cleaning up,” Holm said. “She’s got a lot of skill and she’s a big threat, but everybody’s also beatable. If I didn’t want that fight, then why would I be in this sport. If you don’t want to make it to the top, then you shouldn’t be doing this and that’s the way I feel. So absolutely, I think that would be a fight I would want to look into”
The former multiple time world champion professional boxer, Holm has the best and polished striking arsenal in the division, but a potential fight with Ronda Rousey would more than likely end up on the ground, a place Holm feels she’s still a beginner.
“I still feel like a beginner with it [ground game], but even in my whole boxing career I felt like I still had so much to learn with punches and things. I always want to be the person that thinks that I need to learn more because that means that I’m still going to be progressing and evolving as a fighter. I don’t want to feel that ‘oh I’m good enough, I’ve made it’ because you’ll never make it, there’s always something to improve on. I’m getting better at these things but do I have a lot to learn still? Absolutely.”
Holm has been nursing and rehabbing a broken arm suffered in her last bout against Juliana Werner, which Holm won via a 5th round TKO and captured the Legacy FC Women’s Bantamweight title in April.
“I have an appointment Tuesday to see when I can even go 100% with training. I’ve been able to do a lot. I’m really eager to get back in there, the time off has been kind of nice, I had 6 fights within the last 12 months last year. It was kind of nice to have a mental break.”
As for when she’ll make her UFC debut, given her arm heals according to schedule, Holm feels a fight in October or November is a possibility. In the meanwhile, Holm has been doing technique work and strength training with her legs.
“It’s hard to tell, but I know that the end of October, beginning of November is a pretty safe bet. To give myself enough of a training camp. My arm feels great, everything is heeling really well. I’ve had to have a little bit of patience.”
The full interview with Holly Holm can be seen here.