UFC Vegas 55: Holly Holm Intrigued by Boxing Opportunity, but “So MMA Moivated Right Now”


Las Vegas, NV — After a year and a half on the sidelines, former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm finally returns to the octagon at UFC Vegas 55 on Saturday.

And despite her main event billing, perhaps the biggest topic surrounding Holm is a potential return to boxing, where she started her combat sports career.

Talk of Holm (14-5 MMA, 33-2-3 boxing) returning to the sweet science arose in the wake of the Katie Taylor-Amanda Serrano lightweight title fight last month, which in boxing works out to 135 pounds — where Holm has spent the bulk of her MMA career. With promoter Eddie Hearn reportedly interested in the match-up, would “The Preacher’s Daughter” transition back?

“I think it’s good in life to dream, right? And you think about things that intrigue you and things that you look forward to and things that could possibly be exciting,” Holm said during Wednesday’s UFC Vegas 55 media day, speaking to reporters including Cageside Press. “But I’m not getting so focused on that that I’m not focused on what I’m doing. I really am so MMA motivated right now.”

But, Holm continued, while she “really was over boxing,” because nothing was really “sparking my passion,” when she thinks about the Taylor fight she’s intrigued. That intrigue comes “because of the fact that it’s at a whole different weight class. I fought at 140, 147, and 154 [pounds]. I’ve never fought at 135 in boxing. That’s mostly been my MMA career. So it’s like, am I supposed to go back and fight at a fourth weight, and get a title in a fourth weight division? And not only that, but against the best in the world?”

The driving force isn’t the internet talking, or money, added Holm, but “to be able to show that I can go back, and compete at the highest level, and still get a belt. Does that intrigue me? Yes. So that kind of sparks some of that passion that hasn’t been there. But, that’s not what my goal is right now. My goal is MMA, and I still have my contract in place and my fights in place, and I want to win here regardless.”

Winning here, at least in Vegas this weekend, means going up against Ketlen Vieira, with Holm looking for her third consecutive win. After so much time away — her last fight came in October of 2020; last year, she had to contend with injuries — she’s just happy to be back.

“It feels good to be at a place that I’m actually going to compete. I’ve been training. Even through the stuff I’ve had going on, I’ve been training, but not to where I can really go 100% and have this goal and this, what I’m really shooting for.”

“My last fight, it was the last hard week of training that I got injured before the fight. So I did a whole training camp, and wasn’t able to perform,” continued Holm, who was forced out of a fight with Norma Dumont in October. “My kidney was already in a training camp, and then had to pull out and I wasn’t able to get in there. So it feels good to be able to get in there, also, it’s all the nerves that come with it, which also makes me know it’s real, I feel it, I’m living life. I care if I win, that’s another thing— I think a lot of times those nerves remind me that I care.”

And while there are obvious title implications with Saturday’s Holm vs. Vieira fight, Holly Holm isn’t looking at the bigger picture.

“I have to win regardless. I hate to lose anyway. I just hate to lose period, no matter what’s on the line. Whether I’m in practice training, I want to win the rounds when I’m in training. If I’m in front of two people, if I’m in front of two million, if I’m in front of the whole world, I want to win, I hate to lose.” That, said Holm, is number one. Then, as far as her career is concerned, losing means that “your next steps, your next options are never as many as you want, or they’re more limited. You take a step back, not a step forward. So yes in the long run, I need this win so that I can keep progressing forward, because I want to get to the belt.”

As frustrating as the setbacks have been, Holm later told Cageside Press, “at the end of the day, I also feel very blessed that I know I’ve had a very long fighting career, and haven’t had that much time really taken out for injuries. And the fact that this stuff has happened, it’s like, well I don’t want to be the person that’s just whining that things aren’t going great for me in my life right now. I just embraced what it was that came my way, I knew I had to deal with it, and knowing that I had these things I had to deal with, I also thought ‘well now’s some time I can spend with my mom, now’s some time I can spend on things at my house, now’s the time I can do these things that I wouldn’t have been able to do.'”

Watch the full UFC Vegas 55 media day scrum with Holly Holm above. More coverage from the event can be found below. UFC Vegas 55 takes place this Saturday, May 21, 2022 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.


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