Holly Holm is emerging on the scene as the newest female superstar of mixed martial arts after knocking Ronda Rousey out and winning the bantamweight title at UFC 193 on Saturday night in Australia. Aside from possibly scoring the biggest upset the sport has ever seen, many are just now getting to know the 34-year-old that now holds a 10-0 mark in MMA (3-0 in UFC).
Holm, also known as “The Preacher’s Daughter,” is a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and attended the University of New Mexico before discovering boxing and kickboxing, where she would begin her fighting career and develop the punching skills that have helped her as her career has progressed. After winning two of three professional kickboxing fights, Holm turned her attention to boxing.
She held multiple welterweight titles as a boxer and became the undisputed champion of the welterweight division and holder of several belts, including the WBA and WBC. She compiled a 33-2-3 record as a boxer and fought for the final time in 2013. Holm defended her boxing title 16 times at three different weight classes
Holm made her MMA debut in 2011, winning by TKO over Christina Domke in her hometown of Albuquerque. Holm debuted for Bellator MMA at Bellator 91 and scored another TKO victory but did not appear in UFC until 2015. Her debut came in February when she won a split-decision over Raquel Pennington and the next fight was a unanimous decision over Marion Reneau. In her third UFC fight, Holm connected with a leg kick to Rousey’s head at 59 seconds of the second round, securing the championship and her biggest victory to date.
The 5’8 southpaw fights with a boxing style due to her history in the ring but has also developed a dangerous head kick. After refusing to touch gloves, a token of sportsmanship before a fight, Rousey saw Holm's hands and feet as the former champion was forced to conform to the challenger's style. Holm eventually won largely because of her ability to out-box Rousey.
"It worked out the way we thought it was gonna work out," Holm's trainer Mike Winklejohn told Sherdog on Sunday . "We're not surprised about it at all. People say its the greatest upset ever, but for us it wasn't. We had a good plan, we know what Holly is capable of."
Of Holm's 10 victories, seven have come via knockout and six of those have come at the result of some type of kick. She credits Winklejohn for developing her as a boxer and entry MMA fighter.