After UFC 193, Dana White said in the post-fight press conference, "You know, it's funny because all the people that were talking smack about the fight, everybody thinks they're an expert and everybody thinks they know about fighting. Very few people really do.” And while the UFC President’s words are largely true, if people started doing their homework, it would be extraordinarily more difficult for the UFC to create narrative to promote fights, like the Rousey vs Holm fight. If you read between the lines here, White is suggesting, “I knew Holly Holm, you didn’t.” Although condescending, Dana White is absolutely correct.
White, and the more learned MMA followers, knew what we all now know. Holly Holm is one serious fighter and much more than a boxer. Her dethroning of Ronda Rousey with a 2nd round knockout at UFC 193 was undeniable evidence of that fact. Holly Holm has now paved the way for a new narrative; one that certainly will involve a rematch should Rousey want it – without question Dana White and his UFC fandom do. So now that Holm has arrived, as more than a former boxer, who is she? What is she like outside of the ring? What motivates her to fight and how will she attempt to stay on top?
This is a diverse list that explores the make-up of an exceptionally well-rounded fighter and person. These are the Top 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Holly Holm.
14 She Is Sweet, It’s Not Fake
In the lead up to UFC 193, there were a lot of verbal shots being volleyed, which is to be expected, and then at the weigh-in Rousey and Holm came close to throwing down right there on the stage. This prompted Rousey to say “I see through your fake sweet act,” in addition to some other unflattering comments. The truth is, Rousey couldn’t be more wrong. Holm comments, “I am an emotional person. I wear my emotions on my sleeve and anyone who knows me knows that.” One story chronicled on UFC.com tells of a 16yr old Holm who answered the home phone only to hear someone looking for her father’s pastoral guidance; her father was out so Holm said to the caller, “If you need someone to talk to, I’ll talk to you.” That’s Holly Holm.
13 She Transcends the Sport
Now that she is basically a household name, even outside MMA and Boxing rings, Holly Holm has always taken stock of how her day-to-day behavior impacts others, which is not exclusive to the young girls that may look up to her. Holm says, “I strive to be an inspiration to people, not just little girls or other women; I want to inspire everybody. I don't want to be a letdown. I want to inspire people.” Holm undoubtedly has foresight, a strong work ethic, and a purposed passion for what she does and who she is.
12 Queen of the Ring
For the uneducated MMA fan, and even those somewhat educated, clicking on Sherdog.com and so forth, Holly Holm was more than just a boxer before her MMA career – she was “the” female boxer. Holm was named Ring Magazine’s Female Fighter of the Year in 2005 and 2006 and, in boxing circles, is always in the discussion for the best of all time. She held titles in three different weight classes and Boxrec.com has her as the 2nd highest ranked female boxer, pound for pound, of all time
11 The Scar on Her Left Leg
So the story goes, Holm and her two brothers thought it would be fun for all three of them to climb aboard their 1975 Yamaha Enduro and go for a rip. Being that the bike was a single-seater, the three eventually lost control and wiped out. Unfortunately for Holm, when the bike fell, the heated muffler made contact with her leg, thus the scar and the lasting memory of their shenanigans. According to Holly, “the unwritten rules when hanging out with her brothers was that she couldn’t cry and she couldn’t tattle on them.” Although Holly didn’t cry, says her brother Brian, they did tell their parents about the accident.
10 Holm is Book Smart
After graduating from Manzano High School in 2000, Holly Holm went to the University of New Mexico to study Finance and Accounting. She does have her Realtor’s license, but isn’t using it. Holm says “it’s just something to fall back on. My dad does it, and he encouraged me to do it.”
9 The Preacher’s Daughter
More than just a ring alias, Holly Holm is actually a preacher’s daughter. Roger Holm has been a preacher at both the Edgewood Church of Christ and Bosque Farms Church of Christ. In reminiscing about her childhood, Holm recalls “going to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night.” In fact, Holly Holm grew up in a house that was owned by the Church.
9. Holm is an Athlete
Although the narrative leading up to UFC 193 compartmentalized Holly Holm as a boxer, which made for a good storyline, this is far from the truth with respect to her physical abilities both in and out of the octagon. Yes, Holm is undoubtedly one of the greatest female boxers of all time, but she is also a professional kickboxer and has competed in soccer, gymnastics, swimming, and diving. So, in reality, Holm’s eclectic athleticism is more comparable with Georges St-Pierre than a run of the mill boxer.
8 Holm on Homes?
Having been raised to be self reliant, Holly Holm is well rounded on all fronts. In her downtime, when she’s not training and attending to media commitments, Holm partakes in woodworking, painting, and other home reno projects when she’s “winding down.” Holly’s father, Roger Holm, says that Holly “tiled my bathroom. The cabinets in my kitchen, she redid those a year ago. She does a lot of that kind of stuff. She makes shelves. She loves doing stuff with her hands.” Holm “makes it right.”
7 She’s a Trailblazer!
With her recent win/upset over Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm has become the first ever fighter, male or female, to hold Mixed Martial Arts and Professional Boxing titles. It is a truly amazing feat when you think about it, since boxers have been historically like fishes out of water in the octagon. Do you remember UFC 1? Royce Gracie put on a clinic when he victimized Art Jimmerson, the one-gloved boxer.
6 And the Oscar Goes To . . .
Ronda Rousey isn’t the only MMA fighter looking at the Hollywood sign. Holly Holm is set to make her acting debut in a film called Fight Valley, which is set for release in 2016. In Fight Valley, Holm will play a fighter named Payton Walsh, the “current mainstream champion in Fight Valley.” Fight Valley is a dark world of money fights, mysterious deaths, where it’s survival of the fittest. Cris Cyborg and Miesha Tate will also appear in the film.
5 She Likes to Eat
Holly Holm likes carbs and she likes sweets; she even admits to having at least one sweet a day while she’s training. Holm also admits to “chewing gum every day and drink[ing] Diet Coke every day.” Modifications come while training though, where Holm cuts down on greasy foods and battles her weakness for french fries while getting her body ready for a fight.
4 She Reaps What She Sows
Although figuratively and biblically, this idiom applies to Holly Holm, as her faith has guided life and her preparation for fights, Holm literally likes to “sew,” as in fabric. One of Holm’s favorite pastimes is sewing and browsing fabric stores. When it came to the bridesmaids dresses at her own wedding, Holm said that “if anybody needs alterations on their dress, I’m gonna do it.” Holm married Jeff Kirkpatrick on April 27th, 2012.
3 A Baker’s Daughter
In short, Holm claims she loves to bake and loves to cook. And we’re talking serious baking, where things are made, not purchased and thrown in the oven. For Holm, who grew up baking with her mother, it harkens back to quality time, where she says that if she and her mother were making pies, “we make the crust from scratch, if we make cookies, we’ll even make the frosting from scratch.”
2 She’s Been in Rousey’s Shoes
In December of 2011, Holly Holm fought Anne Sophie Mathis for the then vacant IBF and WBAN World Boxing Titles. Going into the bout Holm was undoubtedly favored to win, but unfortunately she was knocked out in the 7th round. As for the fight itself, as Boxing Scene accurately describes it, “Mathis landed with authority seemingly every time she threw a punch.” And according to many boxing experts, after Holm was sent to the floor in the 6th round (which the referee ruled a slip), the fight was all but over. She bravely came out for round 7 beaten, disoriented, and virtually defenseless as Mathis put Holm down for the count. In sum, Holm was in Rousey’s shoes when she was upset on December 2nd, 2011.
1 She Doesn’t Stay Down
For Holm, she likely hopes the similarities between her fight with Mathis and her upset of Rousey at UFC 193 end there. Why? Because Holly Holm didn't stay down. Long story short, she had a rematch with Mathis and won that fight, avenging her previous loss. One of the first questions asked of Holm was on the topic of a rematch between her and Rousey. Not surprisingly, Holm responded with, “I’ve been on the losing side of a fight and I wanted the rematch, I wanted to avenge my loss. With a champion like Ronda – who has gone out of her way, above and beyond, to do great things – absolutely she deserves a rematch.”