UFC Vegas 55 Holly Holm

Holly Holm planning to return in 2023, names Miesha Tate as potential opponent

The last time Holly Holm competed inside the UFC Octagon was back in May of this year when she lost a split decision loss to second-ranked contender Ketlen Viera. The loss had put a halt to her two-fight winning streak which came in fights against Irene Aldana and Raquel Pennington. This week, Holm provided an update to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto revealing she is recovering from surgery and has named a potential future opponent when she’s ready to compete, Miesha Tate.

There was no specifics given as to what surgery Holly Holm underwent, but she told ESPN she is targeting a return in early 2023 and could begin training by the end of 2022. Having competed in the UFC since 2015, the soon to be 41-year old Holm believes she can still contend and wants to face former champion Miesha Tate when she returns, to get a win back from 2016.

Tate defeated Holm at UFC 196 in a thrilling comeback fifth-round submission victory which gave her the first UFC title of her career. The loss to Tate came just four months after she turned the UFC world upside down with a shocking beatdown of former champion Ronda Rousey. In her conversation with ESPN, Holly Holm did say she’s open to other potential options, but she would like to avenge her 2016 loss to Tate.

“I’m open and ready to fight anyone, but it would come full circle with Miesha [Tate]. I know she went down in weight in her last fight and I don’t know what her thoughts would be on coming back up, but if that’s a fight I could get back and avenge a loss, I’d love to. It’s not the only thing I’m looking at, but it’s at the top of the list.” (H/T ESPN)

Holly Holm also revealed that her next fight is the last fight of her UFC contract and believed she won against Viera, noting how things would be much different had she been scored the winner.

“I felt I won that fight and that would have changed a lot of where things stand right now. Going into the last fight on your contract off a loss is a lot different than going in off a win, so there’s some stuff going on with that. It can be harder to stand your ground.”

Most importantly, Holm said her focus is to make sure she is completely healthy when she goes into her next fight and if she can achieve that, she believes she can show the UFC and the world that she still has a lot to offer.

“I think my biggest thing is wanting to get 100 percent healthy and having a performance that stands out from everyone else, so I can show that I still deserve the position I’m in and I still have a lot to offer.”

Although she will likely be 41-years old when she steps into the Octagon once again, Holly Holm doesn’t sound like she has any plans of looking at this stage as near the end for her. Currently ranked third in the UFC women’s bantamweight rankings, Holm could keep herself in title contention if she is victorious in her next fight, whether that comes against Miesha Tate or someone else.

This may be the perfect fight for both women, as Tate is looking to rebound from her loss to Lauren Murphy earlier this year in a flyweight contest. The fight was moved due to Murphy testing positive for COVID-19 but Tate revealed that she wanted to remain on UFC 276 and told the UFC to give her a fight against Holm at bantamweight.

With history between them and different stakes for each woman, it could make plenty of sense to pair these two former champions against one another, a fight that fans certainly would love to see once again.

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