It is quite uncommon for a newly signed UFC competitor to have so many suitors before their first octagon outing, but that has certainly been the case for Holly Holm, who has already been called out by the likes of former women's bantamweight title challenger Miesha Tate as well as Jessica Eye.
Holm is just 7-0 in her professional MMA career but is also a decorated boxer who has garnered hype for her striking savvy, which is eminently clear in all her fights to date. Yet no matter the level of confidence or mental fortitude, the pressure of having a target on one's back can intimidate anyone, including Holm.
"It's a lot of pressure," Holm said on UFC Tonight. "Especially, people who even just run into me are like, ‘Aren't you so excited? You made it to the UFC!' Well, that's exciting, but I didn't make it anywhere yet. I have all my work ahead of me. So yes, it's exciting, but comes with a lot of pressure and a lot of emotion around that. I figure you've just got to take the good with the bad."
The pressure may make it difficult to tame one's emotion but Holm intends on turning that anxious energy into extra motivation.
"If nobody was excited about it and nobody was talking about it, that means maybe I wasn't really someone to look out for. But the fact that I feel like a lot of the girls do want to, like you said, I have a target on my back and they want to be the first to get at me, I like that. It just makes me want to train harder and it motivates me. I really just want to stay focused and keep it as a good motivation, not get overwhelmed with anything."
While her credentials are impressive, Holm is aware that she will need to hone her grappling acumen so that she is prepared for whatever the UFC may throw at her.
"It's coming along. I'll never feel ready, even if I'd been doing it for years. I still think that my jab needs a ton of work and I've been boxing forever. So I don't think like I'll ever feel like my ground game is there, but I definitely have a lot of work to do."
Transcription taken from MMAFighting.com.