Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm is 32 years old, 5’8” tall and weighs 135 pounds. She is a world class boxer and has held a number of different titles, most recently defending her IBA Female & WBF female light welterweight titles in May of this year.
However and beginning in March of 2011, Holm also began competing in WMMA and as such, has managed to go 6 & 0 over her first half-dozen matches; stopping every opponent but one, by way of T/KO; 83% finishing rate.
Holm last tested her mixed martial arts skills on December 6th as against Angela Hayes, and culled her first unanimous decision victory for her efforts. Post the fight her manager and the event’s promoter, Larry Fresquez, made it be known that his fighter would like to move to the UFC, but that they’re looking at a six figure offer to sign with the brand.
Fresquez went on to say that Holm was of marquee value, a franchise fighter and that there were “but maybe five girls” in the UFC that could “give Holly competition.” Further, he stated that his fighter would “represent the face of the UFC better than Ronda Rousey”; bold words indeed for an MMA fighter who’s never beaten anyone of any significance or ever held an MMA title.
To the statements, fans greeted much of it with boos and cat-calls. The prevailing mood seemed to be that Holm’s manager was seeking a price too high, and that like Tito Ortiz and his fighter Cyborg Santos, they’ll be left to fight in lesser promotions as a result of their negotiating stance. In essence, that fighters, particularly unproven ones (by UFC test), don’t negotiate with the promotion they simply accept what deal they are offered, by it.
Of course, there’s the other school of thought by which many fans thought Fresquez’s posture a wise one. That it got his fighter’s name out there and created some buzz, and perhaps even stirred a little controversy. In a nutshell, that what Fresquez did was nothing but promotion and that’s his job. Certainly, that type of strategy has worked well for fighters like Chael Sonnen.
However and to the point directly, agree or disagree with Fresquez’s style, it appears that it may be working.
Without addressing or referring to Fresquez’s remarks in any way or making any particular note as to why, UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey gave Holm and her case for being signed by the promotion a big leg up yesterday, when she stated that she’d “love to fight Holly Holm.”
In a telephone interview with an unknown reporter, as captured by Fighthub TV, “Rowdy” was asked to list the fighters that stand out the most to her. To that, Rousey named Miesha Tate, Cat Zingano, Sara McMann & Alexis Davis.
In follow up, she was asked about Holy Holm and whether or not she’d be interested in fighting her one day. To that, Rousey actually seemed to get excited.
As the champ put it:
“I’d love (voice goes up) to fight Holly Holm. I would absolutely love to fight Holly Holm. I really hope that the UFC picks her up and that I get to fighter her before I retire.”
To that, fans are apt to say “great” and begin to call for Rousey to get her way, caring not whether or not the promotion has to ante up more than the standard fare in order to make it happen. As any division can be strengthened, so too can the UFC’s women’s bantamweight division benefit from the addition of a world class boxer, the likes of Holly Holm. And where she might not be champ immediately, she’d certainly be a tough go for every fighter in the class.
As such, the UFC should sign her and if they have to pay her more, then so be it. And given the fact that the brand has just spent revenue acquiring eleven un-known strawweight fighters, all in an effort to jumpstart a new 115 pound division, they should have no qualms in spending a 100K to sign Holly Holm and improving the one women’s division they have now.
Either way, it appears that the champ not only wants to fighter, but would welcome the challenge that Holm would bring to the Octagon.