Several weeks ago, Ronda Rousey appeared on Good Morning America to announce that she would face Holly Holm in her next title defense. In anticipation of the questions to come about her opponent's credentials, Rousey proclaimed Holm to be the most decorated striker in the UFC and the toughest challenge of her career to date.
Chael Sonnen, however, does not agree.
The former middleweight and light-heavyweight title challenger suggested that Holm's credentials as a 17-time boxing champion seem unrealistic.
"Holly [Holm] is gaining some fan support, and as far as the locker-room goes, we can't get behind her because she's not telling the truth, that there is no validity that I'm willing to sign off on - and I'm happy for someone to come in and disagree with me, tell me where I'm wrong," Sonnen told Submission Radio. "But there is no validity to any of her world championships, let alone some ridiculous claim of being a seventeen-time world champion."
Holm, 9-0 in her mixed martial arts career, who amassed a 33-2-3 record in boxing and defended her titles 18 times over three weight classes. Her last loss was a KO to France's Anne Sophie Mathis. She avenged the loss a year later. Her accolades include winning the IBA Female and WBF Female Light Welterweight titles, the WIBA and NABF Welterweight titles.
Nevertheless, Sonnen revealed that Holm's reign holds about as much validity as thumb wrestling would.
"I can go open the door to my garage right now, invite all comers, and then put a belt around whoever wins and call it the 'world championship'. And I mean that kind of stuff happens all the time. You see it in arm wrestling. There's a world championship for some game called 'cornholing', which is like some Midwest version of horseshoes. There's world championships for thumb wrestling, and there's no validity to this stuff. There's no validity to her being a seventeen-time world champion, and I don't believe as an analyst that there's any validity to any, zero of her championships. I don't know one tournament that she ever entered where the entire planet was welcome to enter, and they whittled it down with a competitive architecture known as a bracket, and one person was left standing. I don't know of it."
Sonnen also suggested that he had never met a female boxer in person, which should be enough to prove that only a handful of them exist in reality.
"I'm 38 years old, I've never met a female boxer. Not one. I've travelled the world, I've seen damn near every continent in every country, I've been in every state in America, I've never reached across a table and shaken hands with a women that turned out she was a boxer. So are you the best boxer in the world for females? Maybe? Does that mean you beat about three people? Yeah it does. And I'm not discrediting her, I'm discrediting boxing. Boxing is a dying breed, man. People ask me this about Floyd Mayweather all the time. Is he the greatest boxer ever? He's certainly the best of this time, and he's certainly a fantastic athlete and he should get a lot more credit than he does, but nobody boxes, guys."