Former UFC bantamweight champion, Holly Holm, has nothing but admiration for her former rival, Amanda Nunes, following Nunes’ recent retirement announcement. Nunes, who retired after defeating Irene Aldana at UFC 289, is widely regarded as the greatest female fighter of all time, with wins over every woman who has held a title at bantamweight or featherweight in UFC history. Despite the disappointment of not getting a rematch against Nunes, Holm expressed her respect for the Brazilian fighter. Holm stated, “I have all the respect for Nunes. She’s fought all the top fighters. She didn’t dodge anybody.”
Holm acknowledged that facing Nunes again would have been a sweet victory for her, but she also recognized the difficulty of defeating the dominant champion. She added, “She’s hard to beat, but she’s still beatable. But I wish her well. My goal is to get the belt and the invitation if Nunes ever wants to come back.”
Following Nunes’ retirement, former UFC champion Julianna Pena criticized Nunes for allegedly avoiding a third fight with her. Pena claimed to be the greatest women’s fighter in MMA history and accused Nunes of being scared of a trilogy fight. Holm, however, dismissed these claims, stating, “Nunes didn’t retire because she’s scared of Pena. We all know that! But Pena beat Nunes fair and square.”
Holm also addressed her own history with Pena, revealing that their scheduled fight in 2021 was canceled due to Holm’s surgery for hydronephrosis. Although Holm expressed interest in rebooking the fight, Pena ended up getting a title shot instead. Despite this, Holm acknowledged Pena as a threat and commended her for promoting herself.
Raquel Pennington, who holds a five-fight winning streak, is another name in the mix for a title shot. However, Holm is aware that her wins over Pennington in the past do not guarantee her a title shot. She remains focused on her upcoming fight against Mayra Bueno Silva and aims to impressively defeat her to solidify her position in the title conversation.
As a former champion who has consistently remained at the top of the rankings, Holm knows that she is never far away from title contention. Her primary goal is to win her upcoming fight and continue building a winning streak. Holm stated, “My job is to win this fight, and be on a win streak, and keep moving forward. Victory, victory, victory, that’s all I want.”