Two years ago, Holly Holm shocked the UFC bantamweight division when she bested Ronda Rousey for the weight class’ belt. Tomorrow, she’ll try to do the same to Cris Cyborg and the featherweight division at UFC 219.
And it sounds like she believes topping Cyborg, 32, who hasn’t lost since her first bout ever in 2005, will be an even bigger challenge than beating Rousey was.
“This is the biggest fight of my career, for sure,” Holm told TMZ this week. “At the time Ronda was the biggest fight of my career, and everybody thought, ‘Is this it for you? Is this the biggest fight?’ There’s always something that’s going to come up. Each fight is the biggest fight of my career, but this is definitely a really big challenge for me. I’m going up in weight and taking on not just a heavier opponent in a bigger weight class but also a very dominant one. She has one loss, but it was her very first, really she hasn’t lost in her career yet, since it’s been going. So, yes, I know that I’m up against the toughest, but that doesn’t mean that she’s invincible. She’s still human and she’s just another woman.”
The 36-year-old also told the Telegraph: “A win with this (fight) would definitely be a huge thing for my legacy and for my career.”
Dana White agrees—the UFC president told FS1’s “The Herd” that a victory would make Holm the best ever: “This is the biggest fight of [Cyborg’s] career. This is the true test for Cris Cyborg. If you look at Holly Holm: 13-time world boxing champion, multiple time kickboxing champion, beat Ronda Rousey and won the UFC title. Now Holm is moving up to 145 pounds and she’s actually a real 145-pounder—she’s tall, she’s big, she’s thick.
“[And] if Holly Holm wins this weekend, how can you argue that she’s not the greatest fighter of all time—female fighter?”
Holm predicted to TMZ that that’d be the case.
“My prediction is just to have a victory for me. I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but one round at a time, one minute at a time, and I just want to stay focused through the whole fight.”
Due to her long career spanning three sports—boxing, kickboxing, and MMA—Holm has an interesting case as the greatest ever. But she’s also lost six times in her fighting career to go with 46 victories and three ties. It’s White’s job to heighten the stakes of his promotion’s fights, and his comments sound like hyperbole intended to do just that.