Team Talk by Chris Stafford

It’s Not Just About Big Bucks

Holly Holm, Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts Fighter Holly Holms Sets A Fine Example for Women in Sport

As the holder of UFC women’s bantamweight title preparing to fight Miesha Tate in UFC 196 on March 5th in Las Vegas Holly Holm has reinforced her priorities in the sport. A point she will continue to make in the light of the call for a rematch with Rhonda Rousey who she defeated last November. That bout will go down in history for several reasons not all of which will reside in the sport’s archives as history was made. Holm was credited not just for how she knocked out Rousey with a kick to the head in the second round but also for the way she handled herself outside the ring. This aspect for many will distinguish her from most fighters in the cut throat world of mixed martial arts. Then add her values which she reiterated recently when the inevitable chorus demanding a rematch with Rousey made its voice heard again and we are reminded of what Holmes stands for and it’s not big bucks. Despite the victory against Rousey being one of the best moments of her career she does not want to be defined by one fight as the entire focus of her life. She wants to prove much more.

“When you start fighting, you start in amateurs, you don’t get paid anything, you pay money out, because you’re not going to make it back”, stated Holm. “You have to pay for your camp, you have to pay for your gas, you put miles on your own car, you’re paying money out in the beginning. I try to have that same passion I had in the beginning.”

Rather than just getting richer off the sport, Holm is a purist and wants to hold those belts above her head, to add titles to her resume and prove she is the best in the world because of her repertoire. Currently she has held belts in three weight classes as a women’s boxing champion plus the bantamweight title from Rousey.

There’s no doubt that the Holms – Rousey fight caused an earthquake in the sport and changed its landscape and Holms would have banked a handy six-figure check but that’s not the sum of it for her. There are more titles to be won, more belts to be hoist. And what she has also netted in the process is a growing fan base way beyond her sport, way beyond women’s sports, she is a role model for women, empowering them at every turn and making her a sporting hero which we all need so thank you Holly for setting a fine example to female athletes. We can all learn from your values in a culture that is driven by money and greed.

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