Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion, Holly Holm, aka “the Preacher’s Daughter”, is “bummed out” with being passed up for a rematch against the woman who beat her, current bantamweight champion Miesha Tate.
Tate defended the UFC’s decision to hand the next title shot to Amanda Nunes, who had been pleading for a shot since her win over Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 196, the same event that Tate submitted Holm in to become the new champion.
“Holly, it was her first defense, she wasn’t successful. It’s not like she was a long-reigning champion, and I finished that fight. So I think the most dangerous woman is Amanda Nunes.”
Tate also pointed out that Holly was not dominating her during the match.
When asked to respond to Tate’s comments, Holm was quick to point out to The MMA Hour’s Ariel Helwani that the champion was not dominating her either.
“As far as how she won the belt, it wasn’t like she was just dominating me. I was ahead. I was winning that fight. And yeah, she totally had round two and dominated round two. But in my eyes and I think most people’s eyes, that’s why a rematch made sense. It wasn’t like really one-sided. I felt like I was winning and she came with a submission in the end. I don’t see why they wouldn’t want to see a rematch with something like that.”
Helwani agreed and later in the interview even referred to Holm as “the true number one contender.”
“One of the reasons why I wanted to have you on the show is because I feel like of all the potential rematches that are at play and the ones they [the UFC] have already made, this was the one that made the most sense.”
Holm Holm agreed. She was also critical of her employer’s decision to give a rematch to Conor McGregor, who also lost his fight via rear naked choke at UFC 196.
“I definitely feel like our fight had more competitiveness. I feel like our fight was more competitive than the main event that night as far as… yes I lost my belt, but I was winning the fight and it kind of creates this curiosity of what would happen in a rematch.”
Holm however said she understood the UFC’s decision, being that Conor “sells a lot of tickets.”
Another topic that came up during the interview was the possibility of Holm fighting newly-signed UFC women’s featherweight and Invicta champion, Cris Cyborg.
Holly told Helwani that at the time she was focused on her rematch with Tate but said she would be open to the fight.
“I’m really not against fighting Cris Cyborg, but I was really wanting to see if I could get this rematch [against Tate] instead.”
Now that she has been passed up on her match against the champion, Holm told Helwani that she “maybe” regrets her decision, but also pointed out the daunting task of facing Cyborg at 140 pounds in the champion’s homeland, Brazil.
Ronda Rousey was also on the agenda that night, as Ariel speculated – though he admitted his theory was just a “conspiracy theory” – that the UFC could be shelving Holly Holm in anticipation of a rematch between the two bantamweight giants.
Holm described Helwani’s theory as “possible.”
The Preacher’s Daughter made history at her original fight against Ronda at UFC 193 when she became the first woman to defeat the former champion in an MMA match.
For now, however, Holly Holm will have to sit on the sidelines in the division she once reigned over.
But is the former champion discouraged?
“I’m always wanting to get better and I figure I just have to make the best of what decisions or what opportunities come. So whatever opportunity comes, I’m going to make the most of it.”
You can watch all of Holly Holm’s interview with Ariel Helwani at the link below.
[Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images]