By: Sean Crose
It was certainly a fight to remember. Ronda Rousey, the UFC bantamweight champion of the world, was supposed to be unstoppable. Not only did she dominate the competition, the media absolutely adored her. In fact, Rousey’s bad attitude seemed to actually endear her to the media. That meant that Holly Holm, Rousey’s opponent that night in Australia, was not the type reporters would take a particular shine to. She was quiet, Holm was, and also polite. She went by the nickname “The Preacher’s Daughter” due to the fact her father was an ordained minister. In short, she was seen as Rousey’s next victim on a beatdown spree for the ages.
Yet sometimes, as they say, you’ve got to watch out for the quiet ones. Holm not only faced Rousey gamely, she outright beat the hell out of the media darling. By the end of bout, in which Holm made her opponent look like a complete amateur, Rousey was in la-la-land thanks to a pitch perfect Holm kick to the neck. And Holm was the UFC’s new bantamweight champion by virtue of having removed the ferocious Rousey from her title belt. It was a performance for the ages, one which solidified Holm’s place in UFC history.
Yet there’s far more to Rousey’s story than that. Before she found glory in mixed martial arts, the New Mexico native had been a top level boxer, having become the undisputed welterweight champion of the world in 2008, among other achievements. Holm has even been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2022. That means a quick look at Holm’s overall resume indicates she’s the first fighter ever to to earn major titles in both boxing and the UFC. No matter how one sees at it, that’s a very big deal.
So why doesn’t Holm get the credit she deserves? As far as the fight game goes, the woman is literally an historic figure. Yet all Holm seems to be truly known for is her conquest of Rousey nearly seven years ago. This has something to do with the fact that Holm doesn’t discuss her boxing career much in public. It also has something to do with the fact that Holm doesn’t possess the kind of personality the media is drawn to. The woman is a determined, polite professional, not one to soak up the spotlight. No matter. On the eve of Holm’s UFC match against Ketlen Vieira this weekend, combat sports fans should step back, appreciate, and recognize the insanely notable career the now forty-year old Holm has had.
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