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Holly Holm discusses UFC signing, Ronda Rousey

Mixed Martial ArtsBoxingUltimate Fighting ChampionshipBullfightingJudo
Former boxer Holly Holm talks about signing with Ultimate Fighting Championship
Holly Holm, who is unbeaten in mixed martial arts, discusses potential fight against Ronda Rousey

Holly Holm might be the best challenger to Ronda Rousey’s Ultimate Fighting Championship supremacy. Holm is a former professional boxer and kickboxer who is undefeated after seven mixed martial arts fights.

“I have a lot of respect for Ronda and her well-rounded game … judo comes second-nature for her,” Holm told the Los Angeles Times on Friday in a telephone interview. “But I think there are things in my favor, too. I’ve been in a lot of battles in boxing, gaining valuable ring time.

“It won’t be my first time being an underdog and it won’t be my first time in a big fight, and I think the mental part is a big part of this sport.”

Holm, 32, is nearing full recovery after breaking her left arm in her most recent fight, when she claimed her sixth MMA knockout with a head kick and punches to defeat Juliana Werner by fifth-round technical knockout in April.

On Thursday, five days after Rousey’s 16-second technical knockout of No. 2 UFC bantamweight contender Alexis Davis at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, UFC President Dana White signed Holm to a multifight contract.

“I’ve been conditioning, running, and I think I can fight again by the end of October … November, for sure,” Holm said. “I don’t have a lot to do to get ready.

“I don’t think they’ll throw me right to the wolves, but I’ll never say no to a fight.”

White said he would probably give Holm a first bout against someone other than Rousey before a showdown that Rousey herself has said she wants.

While Rousey’s strength in judo as a former Olympic bronze medalist has helped her win eight of 10 MMA fights by armbar submission, Holm has complemented her striking prowess -- she was 33-2-3 as a boxer -- with training by famed MMA coach Mike Winkeljohn in New Mexico.

“I’m focused on every girl in the UFC, I don’t want to get fixated on one fight,” Holm said. “I feel like I come in with something different. I’ve been in some crazy places in boxing 10-round fights. There’s a confidence that comes from that. I have a lot of fights under my belt.

“I know I need to get better on the ground, in the clench, but that confidence is there.”

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Mixed Martial ArtsBoxingUltimate Fighting ChampionshipBullfightingJudo
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