SINGAPORE – She made headlines around the world with her stunning knockout of Ronda Rousey for the UFC bantamweight title, but things have not been great for Holly Holm since.
The 35-year-old has lost the following three fights after victory and she is determined to set things right when she heads to Singapore this June 17 to headline Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) Fight Night Singapore.
The New Mexico native will take on Brazilian Bethe Correia at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, where she will aim to put previous losses to Miesha Tate, whom she ceded her title to, Valentina Shevchenko and Germaine de Radamie behind her.
Speaking to TODAY from Albuquerque during a recent phone interview, Holm’s determination was almost palpable and she responded unhesitatingly when asked whether she feels the need to prove herself again.
“Absolutely,” she said. “Definitely, I have something to prove, not just for other people but for myself.
“I want to win, I want to fight hard… and come back better and stronger. I am still passionate about the sport and I still want victory very much.
“I do feel a lot of pressure and do feel the need to prove something, but that’s okay – I should be feeling like that.”
Holm, who began her MMA career in 2011, is driven by a quest for perfection.
The fighter acknowledges that she has been “countered” a few times in her last three defeats and needs to be less “predictable”, but is quick to point out “a lot of things” have worked for her as well. However, those ‘things’ need to be continuously refined.
“It’s always about the little things,” she said. “I always want to perfect things.
“It’s never going to be perfect, because I’ll always be trying to perfect them (even more), but (it also means) I’ll be getting better along the way.”
The 33-year-old Correia will be no slouch though. She possesses a 10-2 record and Holm simply describes her as “very tough”.
“She’s not one of those you can hit and she’ll shy away; she’ll be aggressive,” Holm said.
“There’s definitely a lot about her style and mentality that makes her a very tough opponent, but my goal is to just shut all of that down.
“That’s what I am training for. I know she’s coming with her best game and for victory, but so am I.”
Holm, who had a perfect 10-0 record up until her loss to Tate last March, will not be coming to Singapore early to acclimatise despite this being only her second-ever fight outside of the United States. She has already started her training camp back home and is confident she will be able to adapt to a new environment quickly.
“I like to stay home,” she chuckled. “I’ll leave on a Friday or Saturday, a full week before; I don’t think I’ll need more time than that.
“I only signed the contract last week, so we are still kind of putting together a game-plan.
We still have plenty of weeks ahead of us, I don’t want to try and get overly anxious right now…and make each day count.”
UFC is looking to kickstart their efforts to break the Asian market again with their first event in Singapore in three years, and Holm believes it will be an attractive destination for other top MMA fighters in future.
“Going into that market is great, I think a lot of people there really admire the sport,” she said. “It’s going to keep growing, the market over there, I think they are going to love being involved and everybody is going to be excited to be there.”
Unsurprisingly, Holm is also very much looking forward to her maiden visit to Singapore.
“It’s amazing, it’s an honour (to headline the event),” she said.
“This is something (many) people dream of being able to experience.
“What a dream – I am just thrilled to be able to see that part of the world and experience something new. I am very blessed, humble and very excited for this fight.”
For more information, visit http://www.ufc.com/event/ufc-fight-night-singapore-2017?id=