Holm faces ‘different fight’ today at UFC 219

Albuquerque’s Holly Holm, right, watches Brazils Cristiane Cyborg Justino weigh in on Friday in Las Vegas, Nev., for their Saturday fight at UFC 219

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — For Albuquerque’s Holly Holm, tonight is essentially a been-here but decidedly not a done-that.

This one’s different.

For the second time in her MMA career, Holm will face a seemingly indestructible champion with the champion’s UFC title at stake. In November 2015, that opponent was Ronda Rousey. Tonight, it’s Brazil’s Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino.

Holm-Cyborg, for the latter’s UFC featherweight title, is the main event of UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena just off the Vegas Strip.

The combat-sports world will long remember Holm’s spectacular upset victory over Rousey in Melbourne, Australia. Holm remembers it, too, of course, and cherishes the memory.

And, yes, knowing she’s capable of such a thing gives her confidence that she can do it again.

“Yes, I’ve had the experience of fighting on such a big card for a title before and having a lot of pressure on you,” Holm (11-3) said during Thursday’s interview session at T-Mobile. “… Knowing I’ve gone through this before has helped.”

Cyborg, though, is not Rousey. No one, including Holm, expects the powerful Brazilian fighter to be exhausted and defenseless by the end of the first round, as Rousey was that night in Australia before succumbing to a Holm head kick in the second.

“This is a different fight,” Holm said, “so there’s different thoughts, different nerves, different game plans, different things going through my head.”

Yet, the Holm camp’s game plan for Cyborg (18-1) likely isn’t terribly different from that formulated for Rousey 25 months ago: move and counter. Use your opponent’s trademark aggressiveness against her. Exploit your superior hand speed and superior striking technique. Frustrate her, take her into the later rounds where she rarely has had to go. Look for an opening to deliver a lethal head kick.

Above all, stay off the ground.

To say that’s easier said than done is, well, strikingly apparent from a glance at Cyborg’s record. Of her 18 victories, 16 have come by knockout or TKO. Though she has never won a fight by submission, she has brutalized many a victim with powerful strikes on the ground.

“I always respect my opponents and I always am ready for war,” Cyborg said recently on a UFC 219 teleconference. “You know, you kill or you die.”

Cyborg has sought to refine her boxing skills by working with Norway’s Cecilia Braekhus, generally considered the world’s best professional boxer, and two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields in preparation for Holm.

This bothers Holm not at all.

“That actually makes me feel good that she felt she needed to reach out everywhere else,” Holm said. “Because I didn’t have to do that. I had confidence in my team and in the coaches that I have with me every day.”

In her interactions with Cyborg this week, Holm has been coldly polite.

The two had become friendly, if not friends, while shooting scenes for a movie called “Fight Valley” in 2015. But Holm became annoyed when Cyborg falsely suggested Holm wasn’t being drug-tested by the United States Anti-Drug Agency as often as Cyborg was.

That little dust-up, Holm said, might make victory a bit sweeter. But that kind of motivation, she added, isn’t something she needs.

“I’ve never felt so friendly with someone that I didn’t want to beat them, even in practice,” she said. “Even with some of my best friends (at Albuquerque’s Jackson-Wink MMA), or even people that I consider to be like family, I still want to hit them more than they hit me.”

Holm has never denied that she has nerves before the fight and has always said fear of losing is one of her greatest motivations.

Of the task before her tonight, she said, “I’m comfortable with the fact that it’s uncomfortable. There’s a lot of nerves and anxiety.

“… But you just have to let it be.”

Holm weighed in Friday at 144 pounds, one pound under the featherweight limit. Cyborg, who in the past has struggled to make weight, hit 145 on the nose.

Albuquerque’s Carlos Condit (30-10), making his return to MMA after a 16-month hiatus, weighed 170.5 pounds — an allowable half-pound over the welterweight limit — for his comeback fight on the main card against Denver’s Neil Magny (19-6), who also weighed 170.5.

“Honestly, I don’t make any predictions,” Condit said. “I feel good. I feel like I’ve prepared well, and now I just have to get out there and fight to the best of my abilities and do what I do.

“In the past, when I do that, I come out on top and get my hand raised.”

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MMA: Holm head kick stops Correia

It had been a long time between back flips.
Saturday in Singapore, Albuquerque’s Holly Holm flipped the script on her MMA career — flooring Brazil’s Bethe Correia with a spectacular head kick and finishing her with a left hand to the jaw before referee Marc Goddard stepped in.
The end came at 1 minute, 9 seconds of the third round. Afterward, coach Mike Winkeljohn assisted Holm in her signature victory back flip — something that hadn’t been seen since November 2015, when the Albuquerque southpaw scored her unforgettable victory over Ronda Rousey in Australia.
Since then, Holm had lost three fights in a row.
“Amazing,” Holm (11-3) said in the octagon afterward. “… There’s so many people who supported me through these three losses.
“This fight was for them.”
Actually, for the first two rounds, there was barely a fight at all.
Holm, typically a tactical fighter, kept her distance while landing the occasional body or leg kick. Correia, normally aggressive, refused to come forward and make the fight. The inaction drew boos from the crowd and action from Goddard, who called the fighters together during the second round and admonished them to pick up the pace.
At a post-fight news conference, Holm said neither the boos nor Goddard were going to keep her from following the fight plan that coaches Winkeljohn and Greg Jackson had devised.
“One of my goals for this fight was to not let it look messy,” she said. “A lot of times that’s (Correia’s) style, she just wants to get in there and make it a brawl, make it look messy.”
Simply because Correia (10-3-1) wasn’t following her script didn’t mean that Holm was going to alter hers.
“I wanted to take a clean shot,” she said. “I wanted to do it right, and the game plan was not to rush anything.
“We knew the crowd might boo. … (But) as soon as I heard it, I just thought, ‘I’m the one in here fighting, I’m gonna stick to the game plan and I’m gonna pick the right shot.'”
So she did.
Early in the third round, Correia taunted Holm — beckoning her to come forward.
Seconds later, Holm obliged with the decisive head kick. Holm’s left shin caught the Brazilian flush on the chin, and down she went.
Correia, badly dazed, raised a hand in an apparent “I’m done” gesture. But Holm stepped in and landed the left hand because Goddard had not yet signaled the end of the fight.
At a post-fight news conference, without sharing specifics, Holm said there definitely was a connection between the taunts and the kick.
“Yeah, there’s a little bit with that and there’s a few more details with that, but I don’t want to let everything out,” she said. “But yeah, the taunting doesn’t do anything to me. That’s never affected me in any fight I’ve ever had.”
For her efforts, Holm was awarded — in addition to her fight purse, thus far undisclosed — a $50,000 performance bonus by the UFC.
Another possible bonus: Albuquerque’s Lenny Fresquez, Holm’s agent, believes Saturday’s victory puts “The Preacher’s Daughter” back in the UFC title picture. That could be at the bantamweight limit of 135 pounds, at which Saturday’s fight was contested, or at the 145-pound featherweight limit.
Holm lost the bantamweight title she’d won from Rousey in losing to Miesha Tate by submission (fifth-round rear naked choke) in March 2016. She lost a bid for the featherweight title to Germaine de Randamie by unanimous decision last February in the first women’s UFC bout fought at that weight.
Fresquez told the Journal via text that there’s no preference as to at which weight a title shot becomes available.
Asked how imminent a title shot might be, Fresquez said he believes Holm’s next fight will be for a belt, unless “they offer us anything (else) that makes sense.”
Holm, for her part, wasn’t looking that far ahead.
All she wanted, she said, was “maybe a beer, some French fries and a beautiful view over Singapore from the top of the hotel.
“It sounds amazing to me right now. That’s my immediate goal, and we’ll see what happens after that.”

ARLOVSKI LOSES: Belarus heavyweight Andrei Arlovski, Holm’s longtime teammate at Albuquerque’s Jackson-Wink MMA, lost to Poland’s Marcin Tybura by unanimous decision on the Singapore card.

Arlovski (25-15) has lost five straight fights and is in jeopardy of being released by the UFC. He did not train at Jackson-Wink for the fight with Tybura (16-2), instead training in Florida, where he has a young son.

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MMA: Holm has offer

Albuquerque MMA fighter Holly Holm has an offer to fight South Korea’s Ji Yeon Kim on a Jun 17 UFC card in Singapore, Holm’s manager confirmed on Tuesday.
Via text, Albuquerque’s Lenny Fresquez said the offer is being discussed by Holm and her team and has not yet been accepted.
This development does not mean, Fresquez said, that the possibility of a rematch with Dutch fighter Germaine de Randamie is off the table.
De Randamie defeated Holm by unanimous but disputed decision for the inaugural UFC women’s featherweight (145-pound) title on Feb. 11 in Brooklyn, N.Y. Twice, after the second and third rounds, de Randamie hit Holm after the horn had sounded to signify the end of the round.
A protest filed on Holm’s behalf with the New York State Athletic Commission was rejected.
Holm (10-3), the former UFC bantamweight champion, has lost her last three fights since her dramatic, second-round TKO victory over Ronda Rousey for the title in November 2015.
Yeon Kim (6-0-2) would be making her UFC debut.

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UFC 208: Holm-de Randamie live blog by the Journal’s Rick Wright

The decision: 48-47 on all three official cards, all for .. Germaine de Randamie. Albuquerque’s Holly Holm falls to 10-3 in her MMA career. De Randamie becomes the first UFC women’s featherweight champion.

Look for more coverage at abqjournal.com and in Sunday’s print edition.

Now, finally, the main event. With de Randamie already in the Octagon, Holm is about to enter to the sound of bagpipes as she has so often during her combat sports career.

The legendary Anderson Silva gets the decision over Jackson-Wink’s Derek Brunson. Highly questionable but popular with the crowd. Scores: 29-28, 29-28, 30-27, all for Silva. The Journal had it 30-27 for Brunson, as did a few others cage side.

After the first stoppage of the night — Jacare Souza over Tim Boetsch, 1st round kimura — Jackson-Wink middleweight Derek Brunson (16-4) is up next. He’s facing the legendary Brazilian Anderson Silva (33-8).
… Breaking news involving three Jackson-Wink fighters:
The UFC announced Saturday that Albuquerque strawweight Michelle Waterson (14-4) will headline a UFC on Fox card vs. Rose Namajunas (5-3) on a UFC April 15 in Kansas City, Mo.
In the wake of her impressive victory over Paige VanZant, Waterson, who trains at Jackson-Wink, is in New York this week. She did interviews and conducted an open workout in advance of Saturday’s card.
The UFC also announced that Jackson-Wink teammates Cub Swanson and Diego Sanchez will be in action April 22 on a Fight Night card in Nashville, Tenn. Swanson, a featherweight, is matched against Artem Lobov, a Russia native who trains in Ireland and is a teammate of Conor McGregor.
Swanson (24-7 and Lobov (13-12) have exchanged less than pleasant words on Twitter of late.
Sanchez (27-9) is matched against Al Iaquinta (12-3) of New York.

… Greetings from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., where Albuquerque’s Holly Holm and The Netherlands’ Germaine de Randamie will meet later tonight (Saturday) in the main event of UFC 208. The fight is for the newly minted UFC women’s featherweight (145-pound) title.WRIGHT Rick_2012
I’ll be blogging here with action as it happens, though there won’t be anything New Mexico-related until well into the night. UFC middleweight Derek Brunson, Holm’s teammate at Albuquerque’s Jackson-Wink MMA, will face MMA and UFC legend Anderson Silva in a featured fight that will precede Holm-de Randamie.
Holm (10-2) is the former UFC bantam weight (135-pound) champion, having defeated Ronda Rousey by second-round TKO on Nov. 14, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. The victory over Rousey made Holm a national and international celebrity and an overwhelmingly popular figure in her native Albuquerque.
After the victory over Rousey, Holm lost her title to Miesha Tate by fifth-round submission (rear naked choke) in a major upset. Some four months later, Holm lost to Valentina Shevchenko by unanimous decision.
Clearly, tonight’s bout is crucial for the 35-year-old Albuquerquean’s future in the sport. Though Holm has given no indication that she would retire should she lose, a third consecutive loss surely would damage her standing in the UFC, by far MMA’s most powerful organization.
De Randamie (6-3) has less MMA experience than Holm and hasn’t fought as strong opposition. But the Dutch fighter has never lost a striking match — she’s undefeated in a long career as a kickboxer — and most observers believe she can match Holm, a former world champion boxer with a kickboxing background, punch for punch and kick for kick.
De Randamie, in fact, is a slight betting favorite. Among the media, de Randamie seems to have the edge. Among other fighters, it’s Holm.

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MMA: Holm on Live With Kelly

Albuquerque’s Holly Holm is scheduled to appear on Live With Kelly this (Wednesday) morning. Holm is in New York for her fight against The Netherlands’ Germaine de Randamie Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Live With Kelly is scheduled to begin at 9 MT on ABC-TV, channel 7.
It will be Holm’s second appearance on the program. She appeared with Kelly Ripa and her then co-host, Michael Strahan, after her victory over previously unbeaten Ronda Rousey in November 2015.

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MMA: Holm to fight for title

Albuquerque’s Holly Holm will be back in action Feb. 11, fighting for a newly minted UFC 145-pound women’s UFC title.
The UFC announced Tuesday that Holm (10-2) will face The Netherlands’ Germaine de Randamie 6-3) for the 145-pound belt at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“How awesome is that?” Holm said in an interview with ESPN.com. “In my dream world, I want to win the 145-pound belt and get back the 135-pound belt I lost. I’d like to hold both simultaneously.”
Holm won the UFC bantamweight (135-pound) title in November 2015, defeating previously beaten Ronda Rousey by second-round TKO. Holm lost the title last March in Las Vegas, Nev. to Miesha Tate by fifth-round submission.
In July, Holm lost by unanimous decision to Valentina Shevchenko in Chicago. A broken thumb suffered in that fight kept Holm out of action the remainder of this year.

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Holly’s hubby: UFC fame hasn’t changed New Mexico’s fight queen (w/ video)

CHICAGO — The eyes of the “Preacher’s Daughter” can turn cold as ice.

It’s a stark contrast to the wholesome, nice-as-can-be life she lives almost every other moment of the day. But, when a determined Holly Holm locks in her steely gaze, there’s not much more intimidating than being on the receiving end.

It was what Valentina Shevchenko experienced Friday in the United Center during a staredown with Holm in advance of tonight’s “UFC on Fox” main event – a staredown that ended only when others pulled the fighters apart.

And the feeling Shevchenko surely felt is one Jeff Kirkpatrick might be able to sympathize with better than anyone.

“Watching her go through the dieting,” Kirkpatrick said quickly when asked what the toughest part of being the husband of a world-class fighter is. “I can eat cookies and drink Coke and eat fat, fried foods and all the fun stuff, and she has to sit there and struggle watching me do it. So the weight cut (before a fight) is tough leading up to it.”

Like any good husband, Kirkpatrick says he quickly learned better than to flaunt his junk food around her while she’s trying to shed a few pounds.

ALSO READ: UFC Notebook: Holm most drug tested fighter of past year, other notes

Kidding aside, the 36-year-old husband of New Mexico’s queen of fighting says the bond between him and his wife is as strong now as ever. That’s because they’ve managed to keep their lives as close to the same as possible despite the world around them being anything but normal since Holm’s November upset victory over Ronda Rousey.

“What I’ve learned is Holly is the same Holly she ever was and always will be,” said Kirkpatrick, the vice president of operations for his family’s Albuquerque-based AAA Roofing Co.

“She doesn’t let the fame, the popularity, any of that get to her head. … Her best friends are still her best friends. Her family is still her family. That all comes first in her life.”

Holly Holm will fight in the main event at "UFC on Fox 20" tonight in Chicago. (Geoff Grammer/Journal)
Holly Holm will fight in the main event at “UFC on Fox 20” tonight in Chicago.
(Geoff Grammer/Journal)

And the life they made long before they were meeting Jay Z and Beyoncé, winning ESPYs or attending basketball games with Jamie Foxx, is still the life they try to live.

“At the end of the day when she leaves her work and I leave my work, we’re still just two normal people from New Mexico,” he says.

The “normal” couple, Kirkpatrick acknowledges, now has trouble going out in public without being hounded for pictures and autographs, something that the two used to be able to escape when outside of Albuquerque. Not anymore.

“We could go to Colorado, go to California or out of the country and no big deal,” Kirkpatrick joked. “Now, all that’s changed. You come to Chicago, you go to New York, you go to Mexico, anywhere you go it’s not quite as peaceful as it used to be. … She doesn’t get to be the normal Holly from Bosque Farms she used to be.”

But make no mistake, he’s loving the ride they are on.

Friday, while donning his familiar backward baseball cap and a Jackson-Wink MMA T-shirt, he sat nervously in a dark corner, stage right, during the weigh-ins. He watched proudly as a few thousand fans screamed for his wife, and he’ll do so again tonight when thousands more cheer her name, with millions more expected to tune in to the national prime-time broadcast.

He says that part – watching his wife get locked into the octagon with her opponent – is the easy part.

“Once the fight starts, all the emotions go away and 100 percent confidence in her,” Kirkpatrick said.

And while he won’t make specific predictions, other than a victory, he says his wife is more than ready for Shevchenko, who could be a springboard for Holm to get another title shot. And he’ll gladly be along the journey every step of the way, serving, he says, as “the arm candy” for one of the most famous fighters in the world.

“I like watching her succeed,” Kirkpatrick said. “The satisfaction she gets out of it, it’s more important than anything in the world for me.”

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Holm: The focus is still there

Holly Holm, left, attacks Miesha Tate during their March 5 fight at UFC 196 in Las Vegas, Nev., which Tate won with a fifth-round rear-naked choke. Holm returns to action on Saturday in Chicago against Valentina Shevchenko. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)
Holly Holm, left, attacks Miesha Tate during their March 5 fight at UFC 196 in Las Vegas, Nev., which Tate won with a fifth-round rear-naked choke. Holm returns to action on Saturday in Chicago against Valentina Shevchenko. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)

One split second. A “momentary lapse.”

That’s how Holly Holm describes what led to her loss to Miesha Tate via a fifth-round rear-naked choke and losing her UFC belt in March.

It wasn’t the media circus, the Holm-town parade in Albuquerque and the life-changing whirlwind of events following her stunning upset knockout of Ronda Rousey, mixed-martial arts’ biggest star, with a kick felt ’round the world in November. That victory made Holm the freshly anointed queen of the UFC.

“As far as training and everything in that fight, I was preparing for (Tate) and I was getting ready for her,” Holm insisted on Monday.

“I was not overlooking her at all. But I do feel like maybe I didn’t fight in the same sense of urgency for her in that last round that I should have been.”

Now, Holm (10-1), is the UFC’s No. 2 ranked women’s bantamweight fighter, back on the pursuit toward winning a title instead of defending one. She is out to prove her focus is as sharp as ever against Valentina Shevchenko (12-2).

The two are the main event for Saturday night’s nationally televised UFC on Fox in Chicago’s United Center. A win, many predict, could earn Holm, 34, another title shot – this one against new champion Amanda Nunes, who beat Tate last week at UFC 200.

Holm spent Monday on another UFC-mandated media blitz in Los Angeles with appearances or interviews with at least a half dozen media outlets before she heads to Chicago for the fight. She feels she has a grasp on the balance between enjoying the moment and blocking out the distractions of fame around her.

“I don’t want to get all the way to the end of my career and think, ‘Oh my gosh. All that really happened?'” Holm said. “I want to experience it as it’s here and be as real as I can with it as it’s here. But at the same time, I want to put in all the hard work because I want to make it all worth it.”

Saturday’s primetime appearance for the “Preacher’s Daughter” won’t be easy, even if it against an opponent with whom even many regular UFC fans might not be that familiar.

Like the path Holm took from her world champion boxing days to the fledgling UFC women’s bantamweight, the 28-year-old Shevchenko is one of the most decorated champions in women’s combat sports, but gained most of her notoriety as a world class muay thai champion.

“Her muay thai background has, I think, actually more fights than my boxing background had,” Holm said.

“And she had a couple more fights than me in her (mixed martial arts) career. So she’s definitely a seasoned athlete. I know what I’m facing. I know that I have my hands full with her and I know that I have a very tough opponent in front of me.”

ON BONES: Asked three times during a Monday afternoon conference call, Holm politely answered three different ways that she has not yet spoken with friend and teammate Jon “Bones” Jones since his failed drug test led to his being pulled from the UFC 200 card in Las Vegas, Nev., earlier this month.

She said he was back in the gym working out and training the Monday after UFC 200, which was July 9.

“He’s always been supportive of my whole career,” Holm said. “He’s even been there for some of my boxing fights and always has been a good mentor and a good teammate. … I don’t ever want to support anything negative or wrong. And I don’t want to ever assume anything that I don’t know all the facts on. I guess we’ll just see how everything plays out.”

“FIGHT VALLEY”: Filmed months ago, and well out the time frame of any training camp, “Fight Valley,” starring Holm, Tate and Cristina “Cyborg” Justino debuts on demand and in select cities on Friday.

The only theater in New Mexico scheduled to show the film this weekend is Santa Fe’s Jean Cocteau Cinema, 418 Montezuma Ave.

FIGHT MADE: Jackson-Wink middleweight Derek Brunson (15-3), ranked No. 10 in his division on UFC.com, will fight No. 9 Uriah Hall (12-6) on Sept. 17 at UFC Fight Night 94 in Hidalgo, Texas. The fight was announced on Monday.

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White: Rousey’s next fight will be title shot

Ronda Rousey’s comeback fight will be a title shot and not a return match with Albuquerque’s Holly Holm, UFC President Dana White said Monday on ESPN Radio.
The only way Rousey and Holm might meet in 2016, based on White’s comments, is if UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate beats challenger Amanda Nunes on UFC 200 on July 9, then decides to fight again before November.
White said Rousey’s return to the octagon could come when the UFC makes its New York debut in November, a year after she lost the title to Holm in Melbourne, Australia.
Tate took the title from Holm in March in Las Vegas, Nev. Holm had hoped to get an immediate return fight, but the UFC instead matched Tate with Nunes.
“Miesha, she’s fighting on 200 and she might fight again before (November),” White said on ESPN’s “Beadle and Shelburne Show. “She wants to fight. We’ll see what happens.”
White did not say Holm would be a candidate to face Tate in that event but also didn’t say otherwise.
BJ PENN: The website mmafighting.com reports that police in Hilo, Hawaii are investigating allegations of sexual assault leveled at two-time UFC champion BJ Penn, who is training in Albuquerque at Jackson-Wink MMA.
Penn has denied any wrongdoing.
The UFC had held off scheduling a fight for Penn, who is coming out of retirement, until having an investigation of the allegations done by a third party. The UFC then scheduled a fight for Penn against Dennis Siver in June, noting that no criminal charges had been filed.
In a statement, the UFC reserved the right to change its position based on further developments.

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MMA: Is UFC passing on Holm?

Talk about no respect.
Not only did the UFC not give Albuquerque’s Holly Holm a rematch with Miesha Tate, not only does the UFC seemingly have no plans for Holm in the foreseeable future, the world’s most powerful and wealthy MMA promotional firm won’t even pay for her subscription to its video streaming service.
Or, at least, they haven’t.
“They keep saying they’re going to take care of my UFC Fight Pass, but I still pay for it all the time,” Holm said Monday on mmafighting,com’s “MMA Hour.”
“… I pay for it every month, and they always say they’re going to go and fix it.”
In repairing the damage done to Holm’s MMA career by the loss of her UFC bantamweight title to Tate, it seems she’s on her own. She learned last week that Tate will defend the title against Brazil’s Amanda Nunes (12-4) rather than against Holm in a rematch.
Holm’s agent, Albuquerque’s Lenny Fresquez, told the Journal, as well as mmafighting.com, that UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta told him it was Tate’s choice not to accept a rematch. Tate (18-5) said a rematch with Holm was never even brought up in conversations with the UFC.
Monday, Holm (10-1) chose not to get involved.
“I don’t know if it was Miesha that wanted a different fight … or if it was the UFC wanting a different fight,” she said. “I don’t know.”
Holm does know she won’t be fighting top contenders Cat Zingano or Julianna Pena any time soon, either. The day after Tate announced she’d be fighting Nunes on UFC 200 July 9, UFC announced Pena and Zingano would be matched against each other on the same card.
“MMA Hour” host Ariel Helwani pointed out that several other UFC women’s bantamweight contenders also have fights coming up. The most available opponent for Holm appears to be Sarah Kaufman, a friend and sometime training partner whom Holm would much prefer not to fight. Also, Helwani noted, Kaufman doesn’t have a current UFC contract.
“How is it possible that Holly Holm is the odd woman out here?” Helwani said.
Holm clearly was wondering the same thing.
“Right now,” she said, “I’m looking like I might be hanging out training for a while. It’s frustrating.”
The UFC did offer Holm a fight against Brazil’s Cris Cyborg on May 14, but Holm turned it down — still thinking she might get the rematch with Tate.
Asked by Helwani if in hindsight she regretted turning down the Cyborg fight, Holm said, “Maybe.” But, she added, perhaps there will be a better time and place for that fight later on. The May 14 fight is scheduled to take place in Curitiba, Brazil, Cyborg’s hometown. Cyborg will fight Leslie Smith.
“We just kind of felt like maybe that fight would be a better situation in the future,” Holm said. “I really wanted to get this rematch. I guess we’ll see what’s next.”
Fresquez has criticized Tate for not taking a rematch, noting that Holm agreed to defend the title against her when she didn’t have to.
Tate, while insisting the UFC didn’t give her that option, pointed out that Holm never successfully defended the title she’d won from Ronda Rousey and that there was no controversy surrounding the Tate-Holm fight. Tate won by fifth-round submission.
Holm said she held no anger or resentment toward Tate, but pointed out she was winning the fight all all three official scorecards through four rounds. She appeared to be winning the fifth, as well, when Tate got the decisive takedown and secured the choke.
“In my eyes and I think it most people’s eyes, that’s why a rematch makes sense,” Holm said.
When Tate steps into the cage against Nunes, Holm said, she’ll be rooting for the champion.
“I’d like to rematch Miesha and I’d like it to be for the (title) belt,” she said, “because I want it back.”

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6
We left Americans at Taliban's mercy
From the newspaper
By AMY BARELAWhat we have witnessed ... By AMY BARELAWhat we have witnessed recently in Afghanistan is horrifying, humiliating ...
7
Go with what we know on vaccine, not fear ...
From the newspaper
The unknown side effects of both ... The unknown side effects of both COVID and the vaccine cancel each other out
8
Editorial: Proposed stadium PAC's fact vs. fiction deserves a ...
Editorials
It's at least worth a yellow ... It's at least worth a yellow card.The pro-stadium political action committee funded by ...
9
Stapleton indicted on 26 felonies
Uncategorized
Racketeering, money laundering among the charges Racketeering, money laundering among the charges