Holly Holm has jumped to the top of most searched lists in the MMA world as 2015 draws to a close, and it all happened in relatively little time.
After dispatching Ronda Rousey in a brutal second round knockout in November at UFC 193, the veteran boxer and unbeaten MMA fighter became a household name.
It was a classic example of working years to become an overnight success.
Some wondered if Holly Holm would have the stamina to keep up with Rousey’s busy schedule as the new UFC Bantamweight Champion, but she has done just fine in the role, and now the girl from Albuquerque, New Mexico, has said something, perhaps inadvertently, that totally discredits the former champion.
In comments reported by SB Nation, Holm said that she would be up for fighting long-time Rousey nemesis (and virtually unbeaten) Invicta FC Featherweight Champion Cris Cyborg at 145 pounds.
That would be a 10-pound jump for Holly Holm. Here were her exact words as transcribed by MMA Fighting.
“I know with the UFC, they don’t have that division. So, if that was something that they were going to put together, I’m not against it. I’m open to it…. I’m not against options for other fights. I don’t know how high I would go. I have fought at heavier weights in boxing. It kind of changes things with MMA, because there’s wrestling. Boxing, I think, is a little different, because you’re not dealing with somebody’s strength and weight on you as far as wrestling and grappling. But I do feel like I’m a bigger 135er. I don’t know. I guess I would just have to see if whatever would unfold if that was an option.”
Why is this statement a total discredit of Ronda Rousey?
Well, aside from the fact that Rousey would not even do a catchweight fight at 140 with Cyborg, forcing the naturally bigger girl to come down to 135, it also lends credence to what Cyborg has been saying all along.
Rousey is “running” from her.
Of course, some will point out that Rousey was fighting at 135 on behalf of her employer, but that excludes the fact that she has fought at heavier weights as well.
Early in her MMA career, in fact, Rousey fought at 145 for the Tuff-N-Uff women’s tournament, and she did quite well before moving over to Strikeforce where she continued briefly at 145 before targeting Miesha Tate for a title shot at 135.
Rousey has stayed at the weight ever since, but she proved early in her career that she was a very capable fighter at the higher weight.
— KIMURA MMA (@mma_kimura) December 23, 2015
When she was unbeaten and one of the main faces of the UFC, she could dictate terms to Cyborg. That’s no longer the case, and Cyborg has gone on record as saying she’s “through chasing” Rousey.
Holly Holm, by being so willing to fight Cyborg that she would go up 10 pounds after dispatching Ronda at 135, is perhaps inadvertently exposing Rousey’s unacknowledged fear of Cyborg, and that could tarnish what is left of Ronda’s legacy even more than that second round kick to the head did.
For Rousey’s part, she is just now starting to hit the media circuits again, but interviewers have been inexplicably careful when it comes to asking her about a fight with Cris Cyborg at catch or 145.
Cyborg has made it clear that the fight will only happen at this point if Rousey “comes to the champ.”
But if Holly Holm has her way, the name on the other side of the marquee against Cyborg in what would undoubtedly be the highest grossing fight in women’s MMA history — and maybe MMA history, period — will be her own.
What do you think about Holly Holm and her willingness to fight Cyborg at 145? Do you think it reflects poorly on Rousey?
[Image via Holly Holm Facebook]