Women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey came into mixed martial arts with a judo background and a slick submission skillset. She’s since evolved her game to include one-punch knockout power in her hands, but she’s never faced anyone with the striking pedigree as her UFC 193 opponent Holly Holm.
Holm is a multiple-time boxing world champion with a kickboxing background that has finished six of her nine MMA opponents by knockout.
Rousey, known for her quick starts and relentless pressure, has finished three of her last four opponents with strikes. Only two women, Liz Carmouche and Miesha Tate, have lasted more than a minute with “Rowdy” inside the cage. She typically marches forward, showing little respect for her opponents, and overwhelms them. But Holm is a different animal.
“It will definitely be the biggest challenge yet. Holly’s not a person that I can really come at right away. The other girls that I’ve fought before don’t have the kind of footwork and movement that Holly has. They weren’t counter punchers, so I can’t really be aggressive right away because Holly’s a counter puncher and she has a reach advantage on me,” said Rousey during the UFC 193 press conference in Melbourne.
“She’s the kind of person that I have to be a lot more careful with and a lot more methodical and set things up. That being said, she’s a 19-time boxing world champion not MMA world champion, and I believe that I’m better than every other girl in every area of MMA. MMA striking is different, and I think I’m the best at it,” added the unbeaten champion.
Rousey has had here eye on Holm since the Albuquerque native made her MMA debut in March 2011. It’s a match-up that she knew would eventually happen and their paths will finally collide on Nov. 15 in Australia (Nov. 14 in the U.S.). She may have to take a different approach when facing Holm, but Rousey is confident she’ll hand the undefeated Holm her first career loss.
“What makes me so confident that I can win is I’m the greatest fighter in the world. I truly believe it,” she said. “What makes Holly such an intriguing challenger for me is – I’ve been watching her since the day she started MMA – I’ve known that our paths were going to cross at some point. I know that if there’s a 19-time boxing world champion coming into my sport, I have my eye on her. Since day one I’ve been watching her.
“She’s undefeated up to this point. She’s been really impressive with how she’s adapted to MMA and gone from just pure boxing to head-kick knockouts. And seeing how she’s come in the UFC, I know that she’s the type of fighter I want to test myself against. I want to show the world why I’m the best. I still have more to prove, and Holly is one more person that I’m going to prove myself against.”