Holly Holm hopes to return to form on March 25 with a decisive victory over Yana Santos. Holm, now 41 years of age, recently signed a new six-fight deal with the UFC, and hopes to make one last run at the bantamweight title.
“The Preacher’s Daughter” appeared in front of reporters as part of the UFC San Antonio media day to address her motives and expectations going forward, as she turns a new leaf in her already extensive career.
Holly Holm Makes One Last Run at UFC Gold
Holm made herself a household name by upsetting Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 in 2015 to become the bantamweight champion. The belt wasn’t hers for long, however, as she lost it to Meisha Tate in her very first defense. Since then, Holm has made three attempts at reclaiming gold, to no avail. Reporters were keen to ascertain whether Holm would make a fourth run for the title with a victory on March 25.
“Absolutely,” Holm gestures to nod. “I think that’s the only thing you need to be focused on if you’re in this game, if you don’t want to be the champion, [then] what are you doing here? You know? It’s a scary path to, really take because you know that means you have to take the toughest fights and you have to be successful. That’s where all that pressure kind of comes in on you, but if I’m going to be here, I’m going to [go] all the way.”
Holly Holm Absolutely Not Overlooking Yana Santos
Holm has historically fought the very best contenders in the women’s bantamweight rankings. Her new opponent is viewed as a step down in competition since Santos has been inactive for the better part of two years. With the confirmation of Holm’s title aspirations, reporters wanted to know whether Holm was looking at Santos as a step toward another title shot, or if she was considering a more patient approach.
“One fight at a time, for sure, is my mindset,” Holm claimed. “Because, you know, that’s the only fight you’re promised right now. And who knows what’s going to happen? Maybe there’s going to be injuries; there’s going to be something that’s career-ending; you never know! Tomorrow is not promised and I try to [think about the one fight] and I also think it’s better for me to stay focused that way because if you win this fight, then it opens the door to the next fight.
[Santos] is a big [bantamweight] like me, you know? She might be an inch taller than me; she’s strong; she’s got a gas tank on her. I used to train with her, she trains hard. She’s kind of unpredictable, you know? You get in the clinch [she may] surprise you with some things. On the feet, she throws bunches of punches, and so, there’s a lot of strengths that she has.”
The window of opportunity is quickly closing for an aging Holm, who now has to make the most of her six fights in the UFC. If Holm can achieve the unthinkable and become a two-time champion, she will set the record for the oldest female UFC champion at 41 years old. But first, Holm has her work cut out for her on March 25, as Russia’s Santos looks to build her own brand off the back of a very big name in women’s mixed martial arts.