By Adam Martin
Despite the media constantly questioning Holly Holm and her camp's decision not to wait around for Ronda Rousey, the former UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion made the correct call in not waiting around for Rousey and fighting instead.
After her shocking upset KO win over Rousey at UFC 193 last November, most figured a rematch between Holm and Rousey would be a massive box-office hit. But Holm damaged Rousey badly in that fight -- Rousey famously said she couldn't even bite an apple for a few months after the fight -- and at the time, there was no guarantee that Rousey would be back quickly.
Still, most figured the rematch between Holm and Rousey made sense for UFC 200. Holm and her manager, Lenny Fresquez, disagreed. To Holm and her camp, there was no reason to wait around for Rousey when Holm could fight and make money in the meantime. And so Holm took a fight against Miesha Tate at UFC 196 this past March.
While the loss to Tate ruined the lustre of the Rousey rematch, most expected Holm to get an immediate rematch with Tate. Instead, Tate chose Amanda Nunes as her opponent, and Nunes brutally finished Tate in the first round at UFC 200. Holm, instead of fighting Tate for the belt (even though she was deserving of an immediate rematch considering how the first fight went), got a high-risk, low-reward matchup with Valentina Shevchenko at UFC on FOX 20.
she lost, and now Holm is on a two-fight losing streak. She got paid to fight Shevchenko, and based on her UFC 196 payout, it's likely Holm did very well for her purse as a non-champion fighting on FOX, even without any PPV points. But immediately after the fight, the media was already questioning Holm and her decision not to wait for Rousey.
Holly Holm is a prizefighter, and prizefighters have to fight to make money. Holm could have chosen to wait for Rousey, but it's been nine months since they fought at UFC 193, and Rousey still hasn't even announced her return to the cage. That means Holm would have been basically unemployed for nine months, and while you can argue it would be a delayed payday, since the Rousey rematch would have been huge, there's a problem with that line of thinking, and that's that there is no guarantee Rousey is even going to return to MMA.
giving the new champion a big payday, but there's no way to know for sure if Rousey had any intentions of fighting Holm again.
It's easy to look back and say that Holm, now 0-2 since the win over Rousey, made a mistake in not waiting around, but even with the two losses, Holm still made a lot of money, she still got more cage experience -- people forget Holm is still relatively new to MMA -- and she still could fight Rousey down the road, even without a title on the line.
When the media criticizes other fighters for not fighting enough, it seems ridiculous that Holm is criticized for fighting too much instead of sitting around and waiting for another fighter to be ready to fight her again. After all, it's her career, and while in hindsight it doesn't look like the best financial decision to take dangerous fights with Tate and Shevchenko, Holm has maintained all along that she's content with her decision to keep fighting, despite media members trying to get her to say she regrets it.
Holm is on a two-fight losing streak and her win over Rousey seems like ages ago, but based on what we know about Holm, don't expect her to say that she regrets anything, because in her mind, she made the right call. And considering it's been almost a year now and Rousey still hasn't fought again, it looks like she indeed made the right decision.
UFC on FOX 20
• Holly Holm vs. Valentina Shevchenko: Valentina Shevchenko def. Holly Holm via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46).
Click the stars to rate this fight.
Click the stars to rate how good you think UFC on Fox 20 was.