Holly Holm has carved out a spot as a contender at both bantamweight and featherweight during her Ultimate Fighting Championship tenure.
While her latest victory – a dominant three-round verdict over Megan Anderson at UFC 225 – came at 145 pounds, it appears to have opened the door for a potential title shot at 135 pounds. In her initial post-fight interview, the Jackson-Wink MMA staple hinted that she might be slightly favoring a return to the division where she once shocked the world to capture UFC gold.
“People keep asking me if I want to be back at 135 or stay at 145 and, to that I say, why not both?” Holm said. “Getting back the title I lost at 135 is definitely closer to my heart, but I’m always open to whatever comes next.”
Shortly thereafter, reigning bantamweight queen Amanda Nunes took to Twitter to issue a very simple challenge.
“Let’s do it [Holly Holm],” she wrote.
Let’s do it @HollyHolm— Amanda Nunes (@Amanda_Leoa) June 10, 2018
Then, 145-pound titlist Cristiane Justino chimed in on the potential bout. Holm was coming off a five-round decision defeat in a championship bout against “Cyborg” this past December.
“Both these girls beat [Ronda Rousey]. I want to know who wins against each other and [I] can fight the winner of [Nunes vs. Holm] in a real superfight,” Justino wrote.
At Saturday’s post-fight press conference, Holm reiterated that a chance to recapture the bantamweight crown would be appealing. “The Preacher’s Daughter” won the belt with a second-round knockout of Rousey at UFC 193, but relinquished the strap one fight later in a fifth-round submission defeat at the hands of Miesha Tate at UFC 196. Since then, Holm has twice challenged for championships at 145 pounds, falling to both Justino and Germaine de Randamie.
“I think anything you lose you want back, right? That’s something that’s dear to you,” Holm admitted. “That’s probably close to my heart, but I want it all. I don’t think that you get in this game if you don’t want it all. I want victories, I want belts, I want all of it.”
After Holm emphatically shattered Rousey’s aura of invincibility, Nunes sent the Olympic judoka out of MMA – likely for good – with a 48-second stoppage at UFC 206 one year later. “Lioness” is currently on a seven-fight winning streak that includes a trio of successful title defenses.
Holm would approach a fight with Nunes as she does any bout: with respect for her opponent, but more importantly, an unwavering confidence in her own abilities. For now, Nunes vs. Holm remains nothing more than a hypothetical.
“Every fighter can be beat, and that’s how I feel,” Holm said of Nunes. “She’s very tough. She’s proven that. She’s ran through some girls. She was very dominant in her last performance with a very game Raquel [Pennington]. Raquel’s a very game fighter; she’s usually a little scrapper. So it’s definitely a tough fight.
“But what am I here for? I don’t want to take the easy route and at the end of my career think, ‘I wish I would have pushed myself a little more.’ So we’ll see what happens in the future.”