The fight is on! On Jan. 2, Holly Holm will step into the Ultimate Fighting Championship octagon to challenge Ronda Rousey for her Women’s Bantamweight title! Before these UFC fighters go head-to-head in their epic bout, learn five important facts about the challenger!
Ronda Rousey, 28, has been on a tear in the UFC, defeating anyone who dares get in her way, including her latest victim, Bethe Correia, 32. But on Jan. 2, 2016, the bantamweight champion will be forced to put her title on the line when she steps into the octagon with fellow undefeated MMA fighter, Holly Holm. The 33-year-old New Mexico native will look to do what 12 others could not by beating Ronda. Will she make history or be Ronda’s 13 victim? Before the fight goes down, here are five things about the woman who Ronda’s calling her “biggest challenge to date.”
1. She’s one of the greatest women’s boxers ever
Holly is just 9-0 in the MMA world not due to a lack of skill, but rather because she dedicated the first part of her career kicking some serious ass in the boxing ring. The 33-year-old debuted as a boxer when she was 20, and was competing in boxing matches until as recently as 2013. To date, her boxing record is 33-2-3 with nine knockouts. She was named Ring Magazine Female Fighter of the Year in 2005 and 2006, and become undisputed welterweight champion in 2008. In June 2013, the 33-year-old fighter received her highest accolade to date: a spot in New Mexico’s Boxing Hall of Fame. And to top it off, she holds a total of 19 boxing world titles. Even Ronda had to give her props, calling her “the most decorated striker” in women’s MMA today. Now, that’s impressive!
2. Her Nickname is “The Preacher’s Daughter”
Holly’s father was a preacher at Bosque Farms Church of Christ for 18 years, which is where the nickname first originated. Surprisingly enough though, it’s actually her mother who isn’t particularity fond of her chosen profession. Her dad meanwhile, it totally into it. In fact, Holly is even something of daddy’s girl. A day before Ronda announced they would fight each other in the new year, Holly shared an Instagram photo of her father after she “forced” him to get a pedicure. “I can’t say this country man minded it! Love my pop,” she wrote. So cute!
3. Aerobics led to her first MMA fight
Though the New Mexico-native has always dabbled in athletics, she admits that it was actually an aerobics class that lured her towards a fighting future. “I started aerobics to keep in shape, saw the (kickboxing) class, thought it looked pretty cool, so I thought I’d try it for one fight and see what it was like,” Holly explains in her bio. After doing well in kickboxing, she competed in her first professional boxing match in 2002 and defeated Martha Deitchman by third round TKO.
4. She’s a taken woman
Holly married her husband Jeff Kirkpatrick, a native of New Mexico, on April 27, 2012. She posts about him on Instagram quite a bit, the most recent being a photo from their vacation in San Diego. “Dinner with my love on Coronado island,” she captioned the sunset photo.
5. She’s an underdog in the fight against Ronda
The odds are against Holly after Ronda’s impressive 34-second domination of Bethe Correia at UFC 190 on Aug. 1. While Holly boasts a perfect 9-0 in MMA competition, she doesn’t boast the same body of work as Ronda — a fact that only bolstered Ronda’s confidence. When asked if she thinks she will be able to take Holly during an interview on Good Morning America on Aug. 21, Ronda replied, “Of course. I can take anybody. She’s not the first undefeated chick I’ve fought.” What Holly does have working in her favor however, is her sheer striking power. “[She’s] the type that is ready to go 12 boxing rounds,” Ronda continued. “It’s not the average chick I would fight. She’s the best striker I’ve ever fought and striking is something I’ve learned much later in my career.” Needless to say, both of these women will be bringing some major talent to Octagon on Jan.2 promising if anything, a fight worth seeing.
It should be an incredible fight, HollywoodLifers! Are you going to watch the fight? Who do you want to win? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
— Alyssa Montemurro