No mixed martial artist had a more spectacular close to 2015 than Holly Holm (pictured). On the flipside, nobody has had a rougher 2106 than the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion.
In just eight short months, Holm went from the only woman to not only beat, but utterly embarrass Ronda Rousey to capture the once-untouchable bantamweight belt, to getting choked unconscious by Miesha Tate in March to lose her gold. To make matters worse, Holm followed up the first defeat of her professional MMA career with Saturday’s upset loss to little known Valentina Shevchenko.
While a rematch with Rousey still provides intrigue considering how silly Holm made Rousey look at UFC 193, the blockbuster payday that was attached to an immediate sequel is long gone.
The only other MMA fighter who has had a bigger fall from grace is former UFC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis. “Showtime” beat a three-time defending champ to win the belt in dramatic fashion, secured five mainstream endorsement deals, then proceeded to drop three straight scraps after one successful title defense against Gilbert Melendez – a fight he was fortunate to win.
Pettis has now decided to try and rejuvenate his once-promising career by shedding 10 pounds and dropping to the featherweight division.
One of the main differences between Holm and Pettis is that Pettis’ decline has taken two years. Holm plummeted in the blink of an eye in less than one year.
So what happened? Did the spotlight get too hot after blasting the UFC’s golden girl? Is Holm just an average mixed martial artist but unleashed the perfect storm on Rousey’s flawed standup attack in November. Was Holm content with merely winning the UFC belt after so many doubted her after making the jump from boxing?
There are more questions than answers for Holm right now. The bright side for the 34-year-old is that she still has time to pick up the pieces. However, “The Preacher’s Daughter” better start praying for her career to get back on track because a third straight loss would mark the end of Holm’s status as a top-tier 135-pounder.
All in a matter of eight months…