Holly Holm got a very large, nasty monkey off her back at UFC Singapore on Saturday. Since dethroning Ronda Rousey in November 2015 at UFC 193, Holm has lost three straight fights. She first dropped the bantamweight title to Miesha Tate in Holm’s first attempt at defending the championship. After that, she lost decisions to Valentina Shevchenko and Germaine de Randamie, the latter for the UFC’s inaugural featherweight championship.
In short, it has been a rough year and a half or so for Holm. She turned things around in a huge way at UFC Singapore, however. In the main event, after two plodding rounds with little action, Holm found herself waved on by her taunting opponent. The Preacher’s Daughter answered the call, landing a hard head kick that looked to crush the nose of Correia and send her crashing to the mat.
At Saturday’s UFC Singapore post-fight press conference, Holm (11-3) addressed her approach to the bout, which gave her a much needed win in the UFC after her 0-3 run.
“One of my goals for this fight was to not let it look messy” Holm said of her game plan for the bout. “A lot of times, with her style, she wants to get in and just make a brawl, make it look messy, landing more shots and I didn’t want it to look messy, I wanted it to be clean. I’m actually not happy with letting her land a couple shots in the second round.”
That might explain the slow start, as Holm was looking to find her moment all along. “I wanted to pick a clean shot, I wanted to do it right and the game plan was not to rush anything. We knew the crowd might boo, that’s the type of game plan the crowd might boo” Holm continued. “We knew that, as soon as I heard it, I thought ‘you know, I’m the one in here fighting, I’m going to stick to the game plan and I’m going to pick the right shot.'”
Did the Brazilian Correia’s taunting have anything to do with the timing of the kick? Maybe just a little, suggested Holm, who said that sort of approach has never effected her. “It’s just that competitive side of me that thinks, ‘you know it’s coming but I still want to hit you with it'” she explained as to why she threw the kick at that particular moment.
“There’s a few more details with that but I don’t want to lay everything out. The taunting doesn’t effect me.”
So how did the big win feel to an athlete who says she’s still passionate about fighting?
“It felt amazing. Its been a long time.”
Still, Holm feels there’s “so many things” that she didn’t do right. And after a brief break where she sees “maybe a beer, some french fries, and a beautiful view of Singapore” from her hotel, it’ll be back to work for the former champion.