Ronda Rousey did not partake in any media obligation leading up to her return fight against Amanda Nunes at UFC 207. It was believed that her reason for doing so was to keep herself focused, away from any distractions.
Unfortunately for the former champion, the media blackout did not translate during the fight, as she was handily beaten within 48 seconds of action. And for Holly Holm, it was actually a sign that Rousey was not mentally ready to take on the challenge presented to her.
“I was a little worried about her mental game getting in there,” Holm told MMA Fighting in a UFC 208 pre-fight interview. “I know a lot of people said ‘no MMA media, none of that’, because she didn’t want any distractions. Well, I really hate to do all of it, but guess what, that’s what comes with the fight, and if I didn’t do it, I don’t even think I would be ready for the fight.”
Holm never shied away from the media, even after she dropped her title at UFC 196 when she was put to sleep by fellow former champion Miesha Tate. For her, being able to talk about such a tough loss is actually more beneficial than detrimental to a fighter.
“If you can’t even talk about it, if you can’t even be doing the normal thing leading up, I don’t think you’re really ready to get in there and actually fight. If you can’t really talk about it, how are you gonna get in and perform on it?”
“I’m kind of a believer in that. I feel like you have to be able to kind of face it, and sometimes I think if you’re trying to ignore those facts, I feel like the focus really isn’t there. So I was kind of worried if she gets in, is she really gonna be ready to just go, when she hasn’t really had to talk about it or face it or really get into it in that way.”
Holm is slated to headline UFC 208 against Germaine de Randamie for the inaugural UFC women’s featherweight title on February 11th in Brooklyn.