At the top of 2016, Holly Holm was the new it girl of the UFC after being the woman to dethrone Ronda Rousey with the head kick heard all around the world. She had taken the torch from Ronda Rousey and carried a pristine 10-0 record with her into the new year. In her first title defense, she took on another legend of WMMA, Miesha Tate, at UFC 196 and entered the bout as a wide -350 favorite.
For the majority of the fight, Holm performed as the odds reflected until late in the 5th round, when Tate was able to score a come-from-behind rear-naked choke submission victory. In a recent interview, Holm reflected woefully on the moments immediately following the devastating loss:
“I remember the ref came over and was like, ‘Do you know what happened? I was like, ‘Yeah.’ And he was like, ‘What?’ And I was like, ‘I got choked out.’ And goes, ‘Oh, OK, good.’ And I was like [MUTED],” Holm recalled to ESPN.
“He meant like, “Oh, good. You
know where you’re at. And it’s like, this is not good. You put so much time and
effort into it and then….when people say, ‘It’s not the end of the world,” that’s
pretty much what it feels like, the end of the world. You put everything into
it, but I’ve learned so much from then. And I use that as a motivation to keep
learning and keep getting better.”
Since that loss, Holly Holm has had her share of ups and downs and now has an MMA record of 12-4. Through the highs and the lows, Holm knows going into her opportunity to regain the bantamweight title at UFC 239 against Amanda Nunes that she is not the same fighter she was three years ago:
“And I’m a different fighter now
than I was back then, and that’s one thing that I do know. So that’s why I can
look back on it and just think, ‘This is what I did to get better from then.’”
Do you believe Holly Holm is a better fighter today than she was in 2016?