Holly Holm has spelled out her desire to win the bantamweight title once again before she retires.
The former 135lbs Queen overcame rising star Irene Aldana with a five-round unanimous decision victory on Saturday night to send a warning she still has the skills to take out some of top contenders in the division.
Following the win, Holm took to the mic to lay out her plans and warn her fellow bantamweights she’s not ready to be the division’s gatekeeper.
“When I first came to the UFC, a lot of people didn’t really know what to expect,” she told journalists at the UFC’s post-fight press conference. “And then, they all knew who I was but there was this whole new excitement coming through, a lot of young talent and they’re trying to come in. They think that this is a steppingstone and I’m not going to be that.”
Holm defeated megastar Ronda Rousey in one of the sport’s biggest upsets back in 2015, before losing the title to Miesha Tate the following year. Since then she’s challenged Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes for the featherweight and bantamweight belts respectively, coming out on the losing end in both contests.
Before Saturday’s main event, Aldana was viewed as next in line to challenge for Nunes’ title if the Brazilian could get the win. But after curtailing the UFC’s plans, Holm said she has her sights set on another run at the title before she calls time on her career.
“I’m gonna keep working hard, that’s all I’m gonna do. I know (Nunes) has got a lot going on right now, another fight already scheduled. There’s still some other tough girls in the division – I feel like 135lbs is always pretty stacked. I never get my sights set on something too hard, I just wait for the opportunity. The next fight is the next fight, and whatever that will be, I’m gonna put my heart and soul into it again.”
Also appearing on Saturday’s card was Germaine de Randermie, who also scored a victory in her contest earlier in the evening. Holm and de Randermie shared the Octagon back in 2017 in a controversial contest so with both fighters getting the win, a rematch could well be on the horizon.