Holly Holm

Holly Holm hoping a win on Aug. 1 gets her another title shot

Holly Holm knows just how important her upcoming main event fight against Irene Aldana is. If Holm comes away from the fight with a win, it will put her on a two-fight winning streaking and may set her up for another title shot.

Holm (13-5) took the world by storm in 2016, when she knocked out UFC legend Ronda Rousey to claim the UFC women’s bantamweight championship. Following the big win, Holm lost a heartbreaker to Miesha Tate in her first title defense, getting submitted in the final round of the fight in which she was winning on the judges scorecards. Since then, she fought Germaine de Randamie and Cris Cyborg for the featherweight title, and she fought Amanda Nunes for the bantamweight title, coming up short in all of those opportunities.

While many have criticized Holm for her record in championship fights, she told MMA Junkie that she feels a win puts in her into the mix for another shot at UFC gold.

“I’ve fallen short of getting that title back more than once, and it’s frustrating, but I know I keep fighting the very top-ranked girls, so I’m constantly right there,” Holm told MMA Junkie. “I’m still aching for it. I still want it. That’s a lot to say. Some people say, ‘Oh, I want the belt’ then they don’t really think about it. I know exactly how much work that takes to get there, and I know it took a big commitment.

“You’ve got to win fights along the way and when it comes, I can’t let the opportunity slip through my fingers again. Obviously it’s right there. I know people say, ‘Oh, she’s had plenty of title fights.’ There’s a reason: Because I keep fighting the best, and I keep staying right there. A lot of times I’m just one fight away. No matter what, I have Irene Aldana in front of me.”

While a championship maybe in Holm’s future, she knows that she cannot overlook Aldana, who is coming off a knockout win over previously unbeaten Ketlen Vieira in December.

“My goal is just to be clearer, stronger, sharper, and more well-rounded,” Holm said. “I want to do all of that. I know she’s coming. She’s got a lot of movement; she’s got long punches and long arms. She’s one of the taller bantamweights. Every fighter brings their own strengths, and my job is just to be better at any of those things, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Holm, 38, still dreams of winning another championship and she knows first hand just how important it is to have a UFC belt.

“It’s just knowing I’m No. 1,” Holm said. “It’s not necessarily the recognition to other people; it’s not trying to prove other people wrong. I worked so hard that I want to beat the best so that I can be the best. That’s it. When you have the belt on you, that means you beat the best, and that’s what I want. I want to be No. 1.”

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