Holly Holm has She has competed at featherweight three times in her UFC career, including a couple of title fights, but that doesn't excite her
Holly Holm has She has competed at featherweight three times in her UFC career, including a couple of title fights, but that doesn’t excite her any more with the prospects of returning to 145 pounds.
Before a knee injury that prevented fighting , Holm was originally scheduled for a featherweight fight against Norma Dumont in October. The showdown was necessary after Holm became frustrated with a long list of potential opponents who turned down fights or showed a lack of interest in facing her at 135 pounds.
According to Holm, this is how almost every 145-pound fight has been produced during his UFC career, which is why he was never really considered a featherweight.
“When I fought at featherweight, that’s often the case. I’m always open to any fight and that’s why I took it, but if there’s another chance that makes more sense, that’s the one I’m going to take.
“Because, I mean, yeah, there’s a featherweight belt, but you never know what’s going to happen.”
The featherweight division was originally established in the UFC in 2017 primarily to find a home for Cris Cyborg , who has been recognized time and again as one of the greatest female mixed martial artists of all time.
Cyborg eventually became champion, but then lost the title to Amanda nunes after “La Leona” surprised the MMA world with a knockout in 51 seconds. Nunes has defended the 145-pound belt two more times, but the competition currently available to her is little to none.
Right now, Nunes seems focused on her bantamweight career after losing that title to Julianna Pena in one of the biggest surprises in history in UFC 269 . That once again puts featherweight on the back burner, which is why Holm would rather focus on fighting at 135 pounds, the weight class he considers his true home in mixed martial arts.
“Yes [Nunes] He’s going to fight right away, will he come back for a rematch? That’s going to be 135 [libras] anyway. What is the angle at 145? What would you really be looking for?
“That’s why I want to focus on 135, which, anyway, 135 is where I like to be. That is my weight class. Yes, I have fought in 145 because I am open to both because I want to fight. But it makes more sense for me to fight at 135. ”
While the UFC has failed to expand the featherweight division beyond a few fighters over the past four years, there has been interest in bringing in at least one more high-profile fighter to compete at 145 pounds.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist and consecutive PFL champion, Kayla Harrison, He is currently exploring free agency. The UFC president, Dana White, confirmed the interest of the promotion in it.
Harrison has competed primarily at lightweight during his career, but has fought at 145 pounds. That would likely become his only weight class if he eventually signs with the UFC.
Like any other fighter considering his options, Holm would welcome someone as talented as Harrison to the UFC ranks, but he still can’t help but wonder if even his arrival would change the UFC’s plans for the featherweight division. long-term.
“Doesn’t Kayla fight at 155? It would even have to go down to 145. You got a great ’45 [en Harrison] and ’35 that you may want to upload. There is always that. I don’t know what they plan to do with her coming, if she does.
“I feel like we will have to see how that plays out. If she really wants to come and fight in ’45, if that’s something she thinks she can do or not, I’m not sure. “