There's more than one way to skin a cat apparently.
Mike Winkeljohn, the head trainer of Holly Holm, tells MMA Fighting that there have been discussions between their camp and that of Cris "Cyborg" Justino about putting on a pay-per-view bout between the two best-known female mixed martial artists outside the UFC:
Mike Winkeljohn, Holm's trainer of 16 years, said the plan was to have Cris Cyborg, another high-profile free agent, attend Friday night's fight, however, those plans changed following Cyborg's Muay Thai loss last week. He added that there have been preliminary talks to stage a Holm vs. Cyborg pay-per-view fight in the near future, should the UFC deal not come to fruition.
"Why do you think people tune in to boxing?" Winkeljohn said when asked if a Holm vs. Cyborg stand-alone pay-per-view could be successful. "Names. Not because Bob Arum or Don King was throwing a fight, it was all because [Mike] Tyson was fighting."
A source close to Cyborg's camp, for whatever it's worth, denied any talks of a pay-per-view fight against Holm.
Holm's manager Lenny Fresquez met with UFC President Dana White a few weeks ago and White came away from the meeting saying the sport's premiere organization has no interest in Holm. Winkeljohn says the dispute wasn't over the UFC's initial offer of $15,000 to show, $15,000 to win for her first fights, but rather over the Holm camp's desire to earn a much larger amount from a title fight with Ronda Rousey.
The prospect of an independent pay-per-view outside the purview of the UFC is very interesting but has to be seen as more of a negotiating gambit than anything else.
Holm will face Juliana Werner for the Legacy FC bantamweight title tonight on AXS-TV.