Holly Holm continues to make headlines in spite of losing her UFC Bantamweight Championship in her very first title defense against Miesha Tate at UFC 196.
“The Preacher’s Daughter” won the strap from Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 in November, toppling the legacy of the company’s first female champion in the process.
Expectations were high as she faced off with Tate, an opponent that Rousey handled easily twice. In spite of a scary second round, Holly Holm almost lived up to the hype, scoring safe wins in Rounds 1, 3, and 5, until getting caught in a rear naked choke in Round 5 and being rendered unconscious.
Holm could have gone one of two ways after that. She could have retreated into herself and ran from the spotlight as Rousey did, or she could have faced the music and vowed to keep fighting.
She chose the latter, and as a result, was not subject to the same scrutiny of her UFC 193 opponent.
Holly Holm could have taken the easy way out and waited on a huge payday in a rematch with Rousey, but she did not wish to do that, so she had her long-time manager, Lenny Fresquez, push for the Tate fight.
The UFC President is no fan of Fresquez. As the New York Post reported in a recent article, White referred to Fresquez as “an old boxing guy who thinks he’s smart, and he’s not,” referring to the point that Holly Holm should have waited for the Rousey rematch, and implying that Fresquez pushed her into a fight with Tate.
Well, Holm didn’t take kindly to this characterization at all, and shared her thoughts with The MMA Hour.
“For me, I don’t really care what people say about me. But I do care when people are negative about the people around me who I love and who support me. So yeah, it’s frustrating, because it was something that I wanted and it’s something that [Fresquez] pushed for [afterwards].”
Further taking down the UFC President for his comments, Holly Holm clarified that when Fresquez said that Holm wanted to fight, “That wasn’t him saying that, that was me. He was speaking on my behalf. So I don’t like when people think that he’s pushing me to do things against my will. That was my wish, and what I wanted.”
When tackling the topic of whether it would have been a good idea to wait for Ronda in retrospect, Holly Holm did not waiver, arguing that even though she lost, it was completely the right thing to do taking the smaller money fight.
“I’ve always said I wanted to fight and there still has been no for-sure time that Ronda’s going to be back. So they said there’s all this money coming in for that fight, but what if that fight doesn’t ever happen? Then what are you waiting for? Nothing. You only make money off that fight if that fight is actually going to happen, and I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Holly Holm has a good point here in that Ronda Rousey was unsure herself if a comeback was in her future, and she wasn’t even watching the Tate-Holm fight when her old foe shocked the world and captured the UFC title.
Only when she learned that Tate won did she text White and say, “I guess I better get to work.”
The implication here, of course, is that in Tate she sees an easy victory. She’s comfortable enough to get back into the swing of things for a puzzle she has already solved twice, yet her attitude seemed to be laissez-faire when it came to the prospect of taking on Holly Holm a second time.
What do you think, readers?
Is Dana White being petty toward Fresquez because he’s jealous that Holly Holm has representation, or does he have a point in blaming Holm’s management for pushing her into the Tate fight?
[Image via Holly Holm Facebook]