Interview with Holly Holm: “Was Rousey a media creation?”

Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has been the subject of great criticism and ridicule ever since her stunning knockout loss to new titleholder Holly Holm in the main event of UFC 193.

After tearing through a host of challengers, Rousey was thoroughly outclassed by Holm, who picked her apart with jabs and left straights in the first round, fended off her one attempt at a submission, and eventually ended her reign with a brutal left kick to the head a minute into the second round.

Since then, several prominent personalities have come after the dethroned champion, including Donald Trump and Lady Gaga.

Chael Sonnen, a former UFC middleweight title contender, meanwhile, said that Rousey was “created by the media” during an appearance on The Dan Lebatard show on ESPN Radio. “That was a media sensation,” Sonnen said of Rousey.

The outspoken former fighter also expressed his belief that Rousey will end up losing to Holm again in a rematch, which might be bad for the UFC as Rousey is the company’s biggest star.

Holm, however, disagrees with the notion that Rousey was merely a media creation.

“There was media around her, but she was able to go in and take care of these girls, so I hate to say that she’s all hype,” Holm said, as quoted by MMA Fighting. “That’s not what it is.”

“She’s been able to do well with all of this pressure, and she’s been able to perform,” she added.

Holm, however, also never bought into the idea that the dominant Rousey was unbeatable, a notion that came around thanks to her impressive string of first round finishes. Before she lost to Holm, Rousey’s three prior fights had lasted a combined 64 seconds, and she was drawing comparisons to Mike Tyson.

“I don’t take anything away from her performance, but I’m one of those that believe that every fighter is beatable, and I didn’t want to listen to all the hype,” she explained. “That’s why I was able to get in there and do my business.”

Holm made it clear that she never felt that she had the fight “in the bag.” Rather, after landing a few left hands on the shorter Rousey, she started thinking “You know what? Yup, I can do this.”

“Anything can happen in a fight,” she said. “Until the knockdown happened with the kicks and I knew I could finish her did I really let that sink in, like, ‘Oh, I got her.'”