Welcome to history, Holly Holm.
The former boxer and UFC standout stunned the athletic world when she defeated Ronda Rousey with a knockout kick in the second round. Holm took down the formerly undefeated Rousey in the first round of UFC 193 before delivering the final take-down to secure the UFC batamweight championship.
A rematch between the two fighters is almost certainly up next. This matchup broke UFC attendance records and another trip into the octagon would make sense for UFC 200 in July 2016.
“She’s won a lot of fights and imposed her will on a lot of fighters,” Holm said of the matchup with Rouse. “So I expected her to be aggressive and impose her will on me. She had me on the cage for a minute and obviously she was trying in for a take down right there … she had a lot of things she was trying so I’m just glad I put in the practice.”
Here’s what you need to know about Holm and her road to the UFC title:
1. Holm Is a Former Professional Boxer & Kickboxer
Holm was born in Albuquerque and grew up in Bosque Farms, New Mexico. She attended the University of New Mexico for a year but changed her path to focus more on athletics, beginning with aerobics. Her first instructor, Mike Winkeljohn, focused Holm’s potential on kickboxing and, in 2001, she won the International Kickboxing Federation amateur tournament.
After kickboxing, Holm transitioned to a slightly different sport, turning her attention to professional boxing. She has held several welterweight titles and was, at one point, considered one of the best female welterweight fighters in the world.
In June 2008 she became the undisputed welterweight champion, defeating Mary Jo Sanders by decision. Mathis was brutally defeated by Anne Sophie Mathis on December 2, 2011 in a match that was dubbed the upset of the year. The two rematched on June 15, 2012 and Mathis avenged her brutal KO loss.
She announced her retirement from boxing in 2013 and capped off her career with a unanimous defeat over Mary McGee.
2. She Made Her Mixed Martial Arts Debut in March 2011
Holm made her MMA debut on March 4, 2011 against Christina Domke at an event promoted by her former boxing promoter Lenny Fesquez. She won the fight via TKO in the second round thanks in large part to consistent leg kicks.
On February 28, 2013 Holm made her Bellator MMA debut and, once again, won the bout with a TKO in the second round. Last year Holm faced off against Juliana Werner in the inaugural Legacy FC Women’s Batamweight Championship. She broke her arm in the first round but went on to win the bout via TKO in the fifth round.
3. Holm Withdrew From Her UFC Debut Due to an Undisclosed Injury
Holm announced that she had signed a multi-fight deal with UFC on July 10, 2014. Her manager, Lenny Fresquz, disclosed that the contract is for five fights. At the time he said that a title shot was not in Holm’s immediate future:
She’s going to build up. We need to prove ourselves in the UFC; we need to prove ourselves with a couple of fights. Whoever the UFC puts in front of us, we’ll knock ’em down. We’re very satisfied with what we negotiated, and right now, we just have to perform in the UFC.
Holm was expected to make her debut at UFC 181 against Raquel Pennington but an undisclosed injury forced her to pull out of the event. The two fighters squared off at UFC 184 with Holm winning by split decision.
Holm most recently faced Marion Reneau on July 15, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 71 and won the fight by unanimous decision. Holm also recently got her Realtor’s licence but has started using it yet, calling it “just to have something to fall back on…My dad does it, and he encouraged me to do it.” So far, she hasn’t needed to fall back on anything yet.
4. She & Jeff Kirkpatrick Have Been Married Since 2012
Kirkpatrick, like his wife, is a native of New Mexico and grew up in Albuquerque to parents Vicki and John. He studied finance and accounting at the University of New Mexico and graduated in 2002.
Kirkpatrick currently works as the president at AAA Co. and he and Holm tied the knot on April 27, 2012 in Cancun. The couple still live in the New Mexico area and have a handful of pets, two cats named Buster and Frenchie as well as a Yorkie dog named Stevie.
5. Holm Is a Major Underdog in the Fight
Not many people expect Holm to hold her own against Rousey whose most recent fight lasted only a matter of moments. The big problem is Holm’s lack of experience and her lack of a ground game leaves her open to Rousey’s dominant armbar.
Although Holm is a perfect 9-0 in MMA competition, she also does not boast the same body of work that Rousey does. That, of course, explains why Rousey is, once again, the huge betting favorite. According to Oddsshark, the predicted line for the fight is -1200/+700.
It’s also interesting to note that Rousey’s next fight was expected to be a rematch with Miesha Tate, who she has already between twice before. UFC did not give a reason as to why Tate was not on the card.
Note: Fans looking to watch Rousey vs. Holm on UFC 193 online, on mobile or on other devices can click here to order the PPV replay. Or if you simply want to watch all of Rousey or Holm’s previous fights click here to start a free trial of UFC Fight Pass.