Having won multiple titles across various weight classes in boxing, big things were expected from Holly Holm when she entered MMA earlier this year, but not all of them were coming from other people.
As she told MMAWeekly.com, “I have the expectation on myself, because why would I be doing it if I didn’t want to be as successful as I have been in boxing?
“People do expect a great performance sometimes, so there is a little bit of pressure there, but I like it. It makes me want to meet those expectations.”
And so far Holm has not disappointed, having won her first two bouts in impressive fashion, including stopping veteran Jan Finney with a body kick half way through the third round of their fight earlier this month.
“Most of my roundhouse kicks were coming off my left side, and my coach was telling me I needed to go to the right side,” she said. “He was kind of worried about her countering off that, so he was telling me to go to the right side, and then later I was mixing it up, and pretty much right after that, she came in and I threw it I think more in a defensive way and it just happened to land in the right spot.”
People who think Holm’s only traits would be her hands due to her boxing success are greatly misinformed, as she began in kickboxing and has never stopped developing that skill along with her work in MMA.
“I think people don’t know that I haven’t just been practicing not just boxing but other things all these years,” she said.
“The only thing that’s new is the ground game, and I think just because I’ve been around it so long, that it makes sense to me. I’m not saying I’m great at it, but I think I’m able to get the concept of it and keep learning and getting better at it.”
While fighters may take a couple fights in another discipline, it’s rare for someone to maintain a consistent output in two combat sports, but Holm intends to maintain her boxing and MMA careers at the same time.
“I want to take the road that no one else has taken,” she said. “I don’t want to do it just to kind of try it out; otherwise I wouldn’t have started it in the first place.
“I want to be able to do both and be the best at both. It’s totally possible – it’s hard, but it’s totally possible – and I want to be the first person to do that.”
With fighters such as Sara McMann from wrestling, Ronda Rousey from Judo, and Julia Budd from kickboxing having been given an opportunity to showcase their MMA skills on nationally televised events, Holm was asked if she feels she is ready to take that step.
“I don’t want to ever feel like I’m not challenging myself and my career; whether it be in MMA or boxing, so if I can have the opportunities, I’m going to take them and make the best of them,” she said.
“I’m not going to fight forever, so I want to make sure I make the most of it. I don’t want to retire and look back and think that I didn’t take the challenges that I should have. I want to look back and think that I’m glad I did it. If I have the opportunities to take the big fights and get the push, I’m going to do it.”