WATCH: Holly Holm spars with fan at UFC 193 open workout
This week, bantamweight title challenger Holly Holm invited a fan on stage with her during a portion of her open workout in Melbourne. The former boxing world champion may be a huge underdog heading into her UFC 193 main event against Ronda Rousey, but she’s still loose and having fun.
After spotting an enthusiastic fan in the crowd, "The Preacher’s Daughter" pointed her out and called her on stage. Then, the two exchanged push and sidekicks to the body for a bit, while moving around and asking, "Turn down for what?"
A couple high-fives later, and the fight fan had a story she will likely tell for years. Holm may have scared UFC officials by inviting a stranger to exchange strikes with her, just days before her championship fight, but the fighter told reporters afterwards that she couldn’t help herself.
"You know what, she was awesome. How do you not have someone like that come up there?" she said.
Holm went on to recount how, before her UFC debut, earlier this year at UFC 184, she decided to involve fans whenever she could at open workouts. "Ok, so this is how it started — in L.A., everyone was wondering what I was going to do because I was there before my coaches. So they asked, ‘What are you going to do for open workouts?’ I said, ‘You guys, it’s open workouts. It’s for the fans. It’s for them, not for me.’ I mean, it’s for me, too, because how do you not get that energy?" she remembered.
"So I was just shadowboxing and jumping rope, and there were a couple fans who were really excited and they were calling out, ‘Throw a superman punch!’ Or, ‘Throw an axe kick!’ It was fun, because they got to tell me what to do. I thought, ‘This makes it more fun than just being here by myself.’ I said, ‘I’m always going to involve the fans.’ I want to be involved with them."
Holm went on to say that she is particularly enjoying the Australian fans. "You guys have always been awesome," she said.
"So, [the reception] wasn’t necessarily surprising."