In her last fight at UFC 175, current UFC women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey destroyed her opponent, Alexis Davis, 16 seconds into the opening round by TKO. At the time, Davis was the toughest opponent for Rousey, coming into the fight having won eight of her last nine bouts and being undefeated at 3-0 in the UFC. Now, however, there is a new challenger for Rousey, one whom many people believe will be her stiffest competition yet.
Yesterday, UFC President Dana White announced that the UFC has finally signed undefeated bantamweight fighter and boxer Holly Holm to a five-fight contract.
Holm, who suffered a broken arm in her last fight this April, had been in negotiations with the UFC for quite some time. Over the past year, White and Holm's promoter, Lenny Fresquez, have had a hard time seeing eye-to-eye, with White even calling Fresquez a "lunatic". However, the stubbornness of Holm's team paid off with her new contract: “We’re very satisfied with what we negotiated, and right now, we just have to perform in the UFC,” stated Fresquez.
While Holm is undefeated in MMA fighting at 7-0, she understands that the UFC is a step-up from her past competition and that there is much work yet to be done:
I’m just super excited. I’m really fortunate to have such good opportunities and such good people to work with. Now their hard work is done and my hard work begins. I just want to make it worth it – all the hype, all this anticipation, I just want to do really well. … I’m very excited, but it’s very real now, too. There’s a lot of emotion.
I am blessed and very excited for this opportunity with the @ufc my goal is to keep learning and improving. Lots of hard work ahead!
— Holly Holm (@_HOLLYHOLM) July 11, 2014
As a boxer, Holm compiled a 33-2-3 record to add to her 2-1 record as a kick boxer. It's Holm's range of skills, along with her impressive striking abilities, which make many people excited to see a future fight against Rousey. However, that fight will not come soon.
Before Holm gets her shot at Rousey, she is going to have to test her mettle against several other opponents to ensure that she is up to Rousey's level: “She’s going to build up. We need to prove ourselves in the UFC; we need to prove ourselves with a couple of fights. Whoever the UFC puts in front of us, we’ll knock ‘em down,” promised Holm's promoter Fresquez.
— John Livingston (@jlivi2) July 11, 2014
Due to her broken arm suffered in April, it is unknown as to when Holm will return to the octagon. "... I’d think it’s about a year out or so,” coach Mike Winkeljohn guesstimated concerning Holm's fight against Rousey.
While the timetable for Holm's UFC debut is still undetermined, one thing is for certain. If Holm brings the caliber of talent many are saying she possesses, the Holm v. Rousey card may be the biggest draw the UFC has seen in quite some time.
Image via YouTube