If you didn’t know who Holly Holm was before her highly-anticipated November mixed martial arts (MMA) fight in Australia against the undefeated Ronda Rousey, you definitely do now.
In case you missed it, Holm sent Rousey to the ground with one thunderous kick. Holly Holm was the only person left in the Octagon who was undefeated.
With her win, she became the first human to win a world title in both boxing and MMA.
Before the fight, Rousey said that Holm was, “a nice chick that’s going to lose,” but also acknowledged that she was also her biggest threat. She noted that Holm is, “the type of fighter you have to be very, very patient with.”
It’s easy to understand why Holm was considered such a threat when you take a closer look at her background.
Holm, 34, is 5’8”, grew up on a farm in New Mexico and was the daughter of a preacher. After participating in sports like gymnastics and swimming in college, she became interested in boxing and kickboxing.
From the beginning, her kickboxing instructor Mike Winklejohn knew that Holm was special.
“She’s got that instinct,” he said, according to her website. “When she gets hit, she knows it’s time to come back. I wish I could bottle [what she has] and sell it.”
Today, Holm is known for her array of punishing kicks, which target opponents’ sides, obliques and heads.
Holm turned her promising beginnings into championship results. In her boxing career, her record was an impressive 33-2-3 with nine of those wins coming by knockout. In three kickboxing fights, Holm has gone 2-1.
Her experience in both of these disciplines has served her well in the UFC. Rousey’s defeat meant she was 10-0 in MMA fights.
After defeating Rousey, Holm became a social media star as fans flocked to her pages in droves.
On her fast but well-earned fame, Holm said to KRQE, “I mean it’s great, but, I also like my private life too.”
“I hope that it does inspire other female fighters to get in there, and believe in themselves,” she told mixedmartialarts.com of her victory. “Not only that, I hope it [inspires] anybody to get in there and take a chance, in whatever it is that they want to do. I know you have to be vulnerable, just for a minute. Just give yourself the opportunity to try […] Don’t count yourself out.”
Many are anticipating a rematch between Holm and Rousey, and Holm hasn’t ruled it out. In fact, she has left it up to Rousey.
“You know what I think that as far as Ronda with the rematch, I feel like for her […] do what you want to do. If you’re passionate about it and want to get back and avenge that loss, then great,” she said. “And if you want to focus on other things, great. I’m just supportive of any fighter kind of doing what they’re passionate about.”
Holm recently made headlines after she lost to Meisha Tate in a fight that began similarly to the big Rousey match of 2015. Ironically, Tate previously lost both of her own bouts against Rousey. This marked Holm’s first UFC loss.
Watch the full YouTube videos credited above: UFC 193: Holly Holm Octagon Interview via UFC Ultimate Fighting Championship, HOLLY “The Preacher’s Daughter” HOLM HIGHLIGHTS CHAMPION via ORTIZFIGHTS 567