Holly Holm has seen her share of ups and downs in the past few years. The former boxing champion transitioned to MMA in 2011, and quickly racked up an impressive nine victories without a single defeat.
While Holm’s storied history in combat sports has seem her in many bouts over top contenders and champions, she didn’t reach UFC-superstardom until one fateful night in 2015. At UFC 193, Holm squared off against UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey – a woman many MMA fans (and UFC promoters) believed was virtually unbeatable.
While some people transition into the sport of mixed martial arts with a background in grappling and learn striking once they start their formal training, this was not the case for Holm. Her professional boxing career made her one of the most dangerous strikers in the division, and put her way ahead of the competition in terms of stand up.
“The Preacher’s Daughter” picked Rousey apart throughout the contest, evading her shots with crisp footwork and landing beautifully placed counters throughout the first round. The second round saw more of the same, and ended with Holm delivering one of the most talked-about head kicks in MMA history.
Holm had achieved championship gold and brutally finished the face of women’s MMA. However, her success would not last long. Holm succumbed to the grappling prowess of Miesha Tate in her first title defense, losing via submission. Holm then dropped two more bouts via decision with one of the losses occurring during her debut in the featherweight division.
Holm broke her three-fight skid with a devastating stoppage of Beth Correia in June of this year. Though the win marked her return to the bantamweight division, Holm said she’d be open to moving back up in weight if the title was on the line.
Perhaps other than Rousey, Cris Cyborg is one of the most highly touted women to ever compete in MMA. Her combination of strength and devastating striking skills have made her a champion in the UFC’s newest division.
Holm has stated she is open to the fight, saying: “If they present the contract, let’s do it!” After losing her professional debut in 2005, Cyborg has racked up 18 victories in a row, her most recent coming at UFC 214 where she captured the championship in a bout against Tonya Evinger.
Some fight fans may find it odd that Holm would be given a title shot so quickly. Admittedly, there aren’t a lot of top contenders in the division to give Cyborg a good fight. While anything can happen in MMA, Holm is one of the few fighters with striking prowess necessary to compete with Cyborg.
Since Rousey’s fall from grace, the UFC has lacked a clear face of WMMA. Cyborg’s combination of ruthless skills and a likeable personality make her a clear candidate, but Holm has a claim to this spot as well. Her personable nature and highlight-reel finishes help her stand out.
Though WMMA is still developing, a clash between these two would appeal to MMA enthusiasts and casual fans alike.
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