Holly Holm’s head coach Mike Winkeljohn is certain Holly Holm will bounce back from her head kick KO loss, unlike her former opponent Ronda Rousey.
The former bantamweight champion looked to reclaim her belt last weekend, but couldn’t defeat the strong adversity that presented itself in Amanda Nunes. At UFC 239, Holm received a head kick and a flurry of punches that secured a first round KO victory for “The Lioness”.
Two days after the fight finished, “The Preacher’s Daughter” was back in the gym to regroup with her training team. Their first approach: watch the fight and break down Holm’s performance.
Her head coach, Mike Winkeljohn revealed his analysis to MMA Fighting.
“I figured Amanda would game plan counter punching Holly because Holly has a tendency as of late to really lunge and people have been catching her when she lunges, that kind of thing. So they were both waiting for each other. I know it didn’t seem like a lot of action but there were a lot of little things going on there, jockeying for position, getting each other’s timing.”
Winkeljohn used fight analysis to develop the performance and strategy of his fighters moving forward. He was overall proud of Holm’s performance but acknowledged her mistakes:
“Holly told me, we watched tape yesterday, she said she felt good. She was getting her timing and working but then she hesitated on a kick. She had done it earlier, which was a mistake and she said she wishes she hadn’t have done that. She told herself that starting to throw a kick and deciding to stop, that was stupid, don’t do it again, don’t get caught. And then she got caught. No excuses. Amanda kicks hard. She hits hard. She’s a scary person and that’s incredible.”
Holm’s speedy return to action in the gym is a testament to her dedication to the sport. The same can’t be said for all fighters after experiencing a loss. Winkeljohn differentiated between Holm’s mentality and Ronda Rousey:
“Holly’s going to be back. She’s definitely one of the fighters in the gym. She works harder than anybody else. She has the desire and the passion, which is higher than anybody in the gym,”
Dana White attributes Ronda Rousey for paving the way for women’s MMA. Her ‘take no prisoners’ approach garnered major support. However, fans were quick to jump off the Rousey hype train after she experienced two consecutive losses. Ironically this included a head kick knock out loss inflicted by Holly Holm. Rousey did not take the losses well and decided to step away from the UFC spotlight.
Winkeljohn insinuates that Holly Holm’s fighting attitude, (win or lose) outclasses that of Ronda Rousey. He said,
“She’s exactly the opposite of what Ronda Rousey did after Holly knocked her out. Ronda, her whole world was over and all these bad things, which is not what young ladies or anybody needs to hear in this world. S—t happens. When bad things happen, what makes you great is your ability to deal with it and go forward. That’s what Holly has decided to do. That’s what she’s done her whole life and she will go forward.”
How do you think Holly Holm will respond to this stoppage loss?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/12/2019.