Holly Holm suffered another loss over the weekend, this time at the hands of Valentina Shevchenko, and said after the fight that she needs to believe in herself going forward.
“I have to just get back in there and go forward. I know I’m capable of more. I think I just need to believe in myself a little more. I know I can do more than what I performed like tonight. Valentina is really tough. We know that. We knew everything – counter-punching, clinch, trips, all that… it’s not like I haven’t been taught the right things. It all comes down to my performance, and it wasn’t great tonight,” Holm said.
It certainly seemed like Holly had the self-confidence to do what needed to be done last year after she took down then-undefeated champ Ronda Rousey; Holm said in February that she felt it was important to show people that she wasn’t just a one-hit wonder, that she was someone who could go into a fight against any opponent and take a victory.
“I don’t want to be a one-hit wonder. I don’t want everything based on this one performance. I want to show people that I’m here for a reason. I want to keep going and I want to get better…Trust me, the last fight was one of the best moments of my life, but I don’t want my whole career to be defined by one fight,” Holm said at a press conference.
Unfortunately, it looks like Holm will continue to be judged by that match no matter what. Despite the ever-changing landscape of the world of MMA–a world that is always in flux because of the constant rotation of talented fighters–Holly and Ronda Rousey have managed to keep fans interested in a potential rematch even though Rousey hasn’t even been in the cage since 2015. Now, what was formerly a huge draw is slightly less so, because Holm isn’t on top anymore. While it’s unclear when Rousey will return, UFC President Dana White has hinted that she will come back with a shot at a title fight soon.
Holm, meanwhile, says it was never in the forefront of her mind to be “on top.”
“I’ve never in my career, whether boxing or MMA, felt like I’m at the top. I know there’s always someone else aspiring to be the best. When I first came here, I said I want titles in both boxing and MMA. I had drive behind me. I still do. I never looked at the division and said, ‘I made it to the top, so now I’m just going to stay there.’ There’s always someone hungry out there. That’s why people watch fights, because you never know what’s going to happen. It’s unpredictable,” Holm said after her recent loss.
Shevchenko may get another shot at current title holder Amanda Nunes, who took down Miesha Tate at UFC 200 recently. Nunes is the only fighter to have defeated Shevchenko, who called for a rematch after she took her win over Holm.
“Amanda, she’s a good fighter. She has good standup and a good ground game, and of course, I want a rematch for the title,” Shevchenko said.
Just two months ago, Shevchenko was the victim of an attempted robbery while in the midst of her training. She escaped the incident unharmed, but her coach is recovering from a gunshot wound to the abdomen. For her, this victory had multiple roles.
“It’s very important in my career. My strategy was to do everything I know, to put all my heart, all my power, everything that I learned in more than 20 years in martial arts. And I did it today!” Shevchenko said.
[Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images]