Holly Holm’s next fight will be July 23 against Valentina Shevchenko in the main event of UFC on Fox at the United Center in Chicago.
The fight was made official and announced during the broadcast of UFC Fight Night broadcast on Sunday from Rotterdam, Netherlands, where two of Holm’s Jackson-Wink MMA teammates faced each other. Alistair Overeem knocked out Andrei Arlovski in the second round and perhaps set himself up for a heavyweight championship fight.
Albuquerque native Holm (10-1) was the UFC bantamweight champion until losing the belt to Miesha Tate in March at UFC 196.
Holm appeared to be in control of the fight, her fourth in UFC, but Tate capitalized on a Holm error in the fifth round and defeated her via rear-naked choke.
Shevchenko, 28, is 12-2 and also coming off a loss that same card, a unanimous decision to Amanda Nunes. That result vaulted Nunes to the top-contender spot and a coveted title fight against Tate at UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas, Nev., spurning Holm’s campaign for a quick rematch.
Meanwhile, Ronda Rousey is waiting in the wings, still having not fought since her stunning second-round knockout loss to Holm in their title fight in Australia last November. Rousey’s comeback isn’t expected until this coming November, and the immediate speculation on Sunday was that the Holm-Shevchenko winner would put herself in position to be Rousey’s opponent.
Like Holm, Shevchenko is a relative newcomer to the UFC division; her only other UFC fight was a win over Sarah Kaufman on UFC on Fox 17 in Orlando. Shevchenko is a former Muay Thai champion, according to her biography on UFC.com. The native of Kyrgyzstan fights out of Lima, Peru.
The other headlining fight on the July 23 card is Anthony Johnson (21-5) vs. Glover Teixeira (25-4). Johnson is the only highly ranked light heavyweight yet to face Jackson-Wink’s Jon “Bones” Jones.