The second Holly Holm completed her shocking victory over Ronda Rousey last year, questions immediately began circulating about a rematch. Rousey stepped away from the limelight following the loss and, rather than wait for her to return, Holm set about fighting Miesha Tate.
Holm lost that fight and her decision was second-guessed wildly from all corners, but speaking to the media this week, she explained her thought process behind the decision.
Via Fox Sports:
“The best way I’ve been trying to explain it is, OK, technically I’d still have the title right now but what would I be doing with it? Just polishing it sitting on the wall? What would be my goal? I’m in this sport because I like to fight, I’m in this because of passion. I wanted to fight, I didn’t want to just hold on to (the belt). OK, I could have said I held the belt longer, but for what? Just to sit around. I wanted to fight and I wanted to test myself. Did it end up in a loss? Yes. But it’s not because I didn’t take the fight with Ronda, it’s because I didn’t perform well when I fought Miesha.”
It really is a fair point. Rousey had stated publicly before the fight that she was going to “disappear” regardless of the result, and as Holm notes: Yes, we are still waiting for Rousey to reappear. Would UFC fans really be fine with the division effectively coming to a standstill for up to a year until they settle on a rematch date?
No, they wouldn’t.
It’s worth noting too that Holm’s profile was never higher than it was following her victory over Rousey. From a purely financial perspective, it was a good move for her to fight again. In an ideal world, Holm would have cashed-in by downing another challenger, then waited around for a big-money Rousey rematch with the title still on the line. That, obviously, didn’t happen.
So Holly Holm is right. The problem isn’t that she fought. The problem is that she lost.