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Coach: Holly Holm intentionally 'held back' in fights prior to UFC 193

Holly Holm's long-time coach Mike Winkeljohn says the former boxing champion was intentionally holding back in her fights prior to UFC 193.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

One of the reasons Holly Holm's win over Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia was such a shock is because of her previous fights in the Octagon.

"The Preacher's daughter", who made her UFC debut earlier in 2015, hardly wowed fans with her wins over Raquel Pennington and Marion Reneau. Holm entered the UFC as a boxing world champion and has defended titles across three separate weight classes, which left many feeling disappointed when she defeated Pennington and Reneau in underwhelming fashion.

However, the combat sports veteran flipped the script when she knocked out Ronda Rousey with a head-kick in the 2nd round of UFC 193's main event. And, according to her coach Mike Winkeljohn, it was all part of the plan.

"It's just Holly is at another level when it comes to intellect," Winkeljohn said to Paul Johnson of Yahoo Sports Australia. "Footwork is always the key for Holly Holm in her fights and Holly has held back a bit in the past and that was all part of the plan. We knew we would fight Ronda one day and Holly showed why she is now the best in the world."

Prior to joining the UFC, 6 of Holm's 7 wins came via knockout, which adds more weight to Winkeljohn's claims.

Since dethroning MMA's Queen, Holm has displayed class and dignity both inside and outside of the Octagon. Immediately after KO'ing "Rowdy", the 34-year-old looked to comfort her opponent and asked fans to show some respect for Rousey in an interview on Thursday.