At UFC 246 former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm will make her return to the Octagon for the first time since UFC 239 last July. Holm will have a rematch with former title contender Raquel Pennington, the first opponent that Holm faced when she entered the UFC back in 2015.
Making her debut at UFC 184 which was headlined by former champion Ronda Rousey, Holm earned a split-decision victory over Pennington in a fight that both women believe they won. After beating Pennington, Holm would go on to win three straight fights and then capture the UFC women’s bantamweight title from Rousey, but would drop the belt to Miesha Tate at UFC 196. Since losing the title, Holm has had mixed results inside the Octagon and is 2-2 in her last four fights.
During an interview with Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie, Holm discussed her mentality going into a rematch against Pennington and how she’s using lessons learned from the first fight against Pennington.
“In boxing my first couple rematches I had, were not as good as a performance as the first, so I said that’s it, that’s not happening anymore I’m going to make the best of it. I had great rematches throughout the rest of my career and changed my mindset, you’ve already felt each other before, you’ve already felt their style, I’m always going to be the one that’s going to go in and do better the second time. I think every fight is its own, I think coming in for the second fight you just take what you’ve learned, do the best you can going into the rematch. I actually used to not like rematches and then I got to the point where I really enjoyed them.
Finding herself hovering around the top of the women’s bantamweight division to this day, Holm told MMA Junkie that she still has aspirations of recapturing UFC gold.
“If I wasn’t still trying to climb and fight for that belt then what would I be doing this sport for anyway? I would say I’m not here for a participation ribbon, I’m here for the gold, and I’m going to work to get there. Every fight I take as serious as the next, yes it was heartbreaking to not be able to get that belt back in the Summer but I’m still moving forward. I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t have big dreams for myself, I would just walk away from it.”
Leading into her rematch with Pennington, Holly Holm still has her sights set on winning back the title she once held. Although she came up short to reigning champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 239 this past Summer, Holm doesn’t sound ready to walk away from the sport just yet.