Holly Holm: ‘I would love to fight sooner than later’
Holly Holm is still riding high less than two weeks after her shocking head-kick knockout over former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, but as much as she’s enjoying the moment, she’s anxious to get back to work.
Holm’s fight with Rousey was her third UFC fight in 2015 after debuting with the promotion in February and then fighting again in July.
Holm actually signed with the UFC in July 2014 but thanks to some injuries she wasn’t able to debut until almost eight months later. So it’s understandable, even after the biggest win of her career, that she wants to stay busy as much as possible right now.
"I would love to fight sooner than later but that’s because I like to be an active fighter," Holm told FOX Sports recently. "It’s nice to have a little time off but then I start to feel like now what’s my purpose? I need to strive for something. I want to have a goal."
At 34 years old, Holm is in the prime of her career, and unlike her championship predecessor, her mind is focused solely on fighting and defending the UFC bantamweight title.
While Rousey was able to defend the belt three times in 2015, she had already discussed taking time off before facing Holm so that she could decompress from a very busy year while also filming “Mile 22” with Mark Wahlberg as well as the upcoming “Road House” remake back-to-back to kick off 2016.
Meanwhile, Holm loves to explore other opportunities outside of the UFC but her biggest passion for the past 15 years has been fighting — from boxing to kickboxing to MMA — and she doesn’t expect that to change any time soon.
She also wants to honor whatever the UFC chooses for her to do next, and all signs are currently pointing towards a rematch with Rousey next year with the fight potentially taking place at UFC 200 in July. As much as Holm would enjoy defending her belt sooner than that, she’s happy to abide by whatever fight the UFC wants to put together for her.
"I would love to be able to have a fight sooner than later but whatever opportunities comes and the UFC presents is what I’m going to go with," Holm said.
UFC president Dana White has hinted that the rematch with Rousey is most likely but the former champion still hasn’t made any kind of public statement since the fight with her intention to return or when she might want to fight again.
If Rousey’s return is delayed, top-ranked contender Miesha Tate is still waiting in the wings and there’s no doubt she wants to face Holm as soon as possible. Tate told FOX Sports earlier this week that in a perfect world she could fight Holm in the first quarter of 2016 and the winner would still have plenty of time to get ready for Rousey in July.
"In my mind, I think this fight should go to me in the meantime in maybe three months and then as Ronda’s filming her movie and getting what she needs to get to recover. I think for Ronda’s first fight back, if she wants it to be a title shot, I think that it should be because I think she’s earned that," Tate said.
"The thing is she’s going to be out too long and I’m ready to go and I think Holly’s ready to go so let’s set it up in the meantime. When Ronda comes back she’ll have a quality champion to face."
As of now, the UFC hasn’t made any official decisions regarding Holm’s first title defense. Considering the new champion is just now making it home to Albuquerque nearly two weeks after her fight with Rousey thanks to various interviews and appearances, the first thing Holm will do is relax.