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Holly Holm said yes ‘right away’ to 145 lb title fight, won’t ‘look to far ahead’ to Cyborg

Holly Holm is looking forward to another shot at UFC gold. As for a potential Cyborg fight after? We’ll see.

Sometimes career opportunities really are just down to being in the right place at the right time. As one of the biggest fighters in the women’s bantamweight division, Holly Holm was an obvious candidate as a future catchweight (or even featherweight opponent for Cris Cyborg. Still, being on the end of two straight losses put her in a tough spot for a bout where she would have been a sizeable underdog. That’s no longer the case.

With Cyborg on the sidelines recovering from the effects of her last weight cut and the UFC suddenly interested in developing a women’s featherweight division. They needed two title contender worthy, big bantamweights. Enter Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie. Holm recently sat down with Luke Thomas for an interview on the Luke Thomas Show to explain how she ended up getting a shot at the vacant featherweight strap.

“Well, I had a couple of, just talks with other opponents,” explained Holm. “Just kind of talking, nothing was actually set. And then I had a meeting and they had brought up Cyborg at a catchweight and I told them I would do that. We knew she couldn't go to 136, so we... You know we had told them, ‘Yeah, we'll see if she can go to, like, 139.’ But, obviously it was probably going to be 140. So, we were kinda waiting for the answer back on that, if we were going to fight at 140. And that didn't go through. I had another fight that was lined up, it was supposed to be end of January in Denver, and then that didn't go through. And then we got the call that said 145 with Germaine de Randamie. So, that's how it kind of, these events took place for me.”

“It wasn't the phone call that I thought I was gonna get,” continued Holm, “but it's definitely... I said yes to it right away. My coach actually called, he was out of town, he was on his way out of town, and he called. I was still at the gym and he was like, ‘Hey, 145 lb belt, Germaine de Randamie. I'm not gonna say yes without you, but I think that it's a go.’ And I always... I go with what he thinks to do. I always just follow his guidance, so I said, ‘Lets do it then.’ He said, ‘I know she's a bigger 135, she'll be even stronger at 145, but so will you.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, yep.’”

So, with the potential of becoming the UFC’s first featherweight champion in front of her, Holm is definitely ready to face Cyborg as her first title challenger, right? Well, maybe.

“Yeah, I feel like I know that's probably what they're likely leaning towards,” Holm said of a potential Cyborg fight. “She's definitely a very big 145er... And I'm open to whatever fight. I'm always open to whatever challenge comes my way. Like I said, I wasn't expecting 145 with Germaine and that's what's happening now. So, I just said, ‘Yes, lets do it.’”

“I don't look too far ahead in the future.” Holm continued when asked if that meant she would definitely fight Cyborg at 145. “If you would have asked me before my last fight, ‘Do I want to fight for a 145 lb title?’ I would have said, ‘Well, I don't know. I have this fight in front of me.’ We take it one fight at a time. That's the only way I can really look into it. But, I'm always open to whatever comes my way.”

And while Holm may have given some uncertainty to the idea of fighting Cyborg at 145 in the future, she definitely sounded a lot more interested in the idea of dropping back down to become a two-division champ at 135. Or potentially even challenging Ronda Rousey in a superfight.

“I would love to go back and fight for the 135 lb belt in a perfect world,” said Holm, when asked about going back to bantamweight. “Even so, that's definitely... I don't want to look past this fight. So, right now, 145 lb belt is my goal. And how awesome to be able to fight for a belt in two different weight classes, no female has had that chance yet. I want to make the most of it. I would love to hold both of them at the same time, that's the ultimate goal. I think anybody that's in this sport, if they had that option they would want it.”

“I think anybody that has any common sense probably sees that that would be a big fight,” Holm said when asked about a superfight with Rousey. “There's a lot of people that are not even really that involved, following MMA, that's still a curiosity they have. So, it's definitely something that I think people are curious about. It definitely has to pan out, because we have to see how December 30th goes, we have to see how February 11th goes. Between those two fights and whatever the outcome may be, there's a lot of different roads that that can take, you know?”

Holm also talked about her upcoming bout with de Randamie, revealed the opponent for the Denver fight that fell apart, the challenges of changing weight classes, and what she expects from Ronda Rousey’s return. So check the whole thing out, and stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and updates.