Holly Holm (pictured) is a fighter’s fighter. A true competitor if there ever was one. That’s why, despite winning multiple boxing titles, she left the sport in her rear-view mirror at the age of 29 to pursue MMA, a completely new game that most expected would quickly expose her lack of experience on the ground.
To the surprise of many, that hasn’t been the case through 10 perfect MMA fights. “The Preacher’s Daughter” posted some highlight reel knockout victories to start out her MMA career, then some ho-hum decision wins after making it to the UFC three outings ago, which had some wondering if she had the skills to excel in MMA as she once did in boxing.
That was until last November rolled around when Holm flipped the MMA world on its head after kicking Ronda Rousey in hers. Holm’s life would never be the same. Despite her many successes in boxing, she is just now cracking into the mainstream market since posterizing Rousey.
Now it’s time to get paid. The UFC and Rousey were pushing for an immediate rematch that could have taken at least seven months to arrange. Holm was interested in Rousey, but not at that extended timeline. She wanted back in the cage ASAP. That’s the competitor in her speaking.
However, someone should have allowed her bank account to do the talking for her.
UFC president Dana White has predicted that Holm vs. Rousey II would be the biggest pay-per-view in company history. Now that Holm is the UFC bantamweight champion, she will pocket a piece of each PPV she defends her title in.
Riding out her newfound fame until Rousey was ready to return could have paid Holm big dividends. Instead, she’s rolling the dice against Miesha Tate, a longtime top contender.
Holm has far more to lose than gain in meeting Tate at UFC 196. With a loss, not only does her belt disappear, but so does the bankroll that comes along with a sequel against Rousey, a financial windfall that could set her up for life. If the 3.5-1 odds-on favorite Holm wins, great, but the mainstream only cares if it’s against Rousey right now.
Tate could have waited until after Rousey got a do-over. Tate’s already lost two straight title tilts dating back to her Strikeforce days, so she wasn’t going anywhere.
The one caveat for Holm is that she’s co-headlining UFC 196 behind Conor McGregor, the UFC’s current cash cow. So riding McGregor’s coattails to a lucrative PPV payout will help ease some of the financial risk of not fighting Rousey immediately.
The best-case scenario for Holm is a vicious finish over Tate on Saturday, which would lead directly into a second tango with Rousey later this winter. You can practically hear Holm’s bank account smiling right now. Worst-case scenario would be Holm getting destroyed by Tate and she only enjoys one lucrative payday.
Best believe that not only Holm, but the UFC and Rousey will be rooting for Option A.