“Maybe I just think differently because I’ve been boxing for 11 years and I feel like I’ve done a lot in my career, but it hasn’t necessarily been on TV,” Holm (6-0) told MMAjunkie. “But I don’t feel like my boxing career has been a bust.
“Yes, I think it would be great to go to the UFC, but does that mean I’m just so fixated on it that I’m not going to open the doors to anything else? No. I feel like I have a lot to do still, and I feel like there’s opportunities in a lot of places. Going to the UFC is not something that will define my career.”
Holm, who trains out of Jackson-Winkeljohn’s MMA in her native Albuquerque, N.M., thinks the reaction to a recent interview her manager gave is overblown and doesn’t necessarily represent all of her current feelings about her career.
The manager, Lenny Fresquez, told Sherdog.com that Holm wanted a title fight and six figures to sign a UFC contract. Naturally, such a demand invited criticism from fans who said she isn’t entitled to such a deal.
Holm, a multi-title winner in the square circle, does want to be compensated fairly. She feels that even more strongly if she’s going to be exclusive to one promotion and not guaranteed a busy schedule. But she it’s not as simple as agreeing to a dollar amount.
When she signs a big contract, she wants to earn it.
“People are looking for this black-or-white answer – ‘She wants this much money to go here,’” Holm said. “If this happens, then this. There is no answer right now.
“We want to look at what has the best opportunities. But for me personally, I just want to win the fights because I can’t have people going around saying, ‘We deserve this,’ and then if I don’t perform, what was all the hype about?”
That means a fight with Rousey isn’t exactly her priority right now, but she thinks she could be ready sooner rather than later.
“So my whole thing is I just want to perform,” she said. “Money I’m not really getting involved with. All this stuff that’s being talked about, it’s not something I’m saying – ‘I need six figures.’”
Holm said her current contract with the Texas-based Legacy FC, which has two fights remaining, is worth “nowhere near” that amount, but it allows her flexibility to take big opportunities. She said the deal is “fairly, but not 100 percent” exclusive, meaning she could sign with a major suitor if the terms were right.
“I’ve always said I’ll never fight for money,” she said. “I fight for passion. That’s why I don’t get into these negotiating games because I would rather just train. I figure that if I fight with passion, I’m going to be the best fighter I can be, and other opportunities will follow.”
Holm said Fresquez spoke with the UFC before she signed a contract with Legacy FC and recently had another conversation with the Las Vegas-based promotion.
But Holm said she is focused on her next bout, which could take place in March 2014 as a co-promotion between Legacy and Fresquez’s fight promotion based in Albuquerque.
This past Friday, her stock rose again when she earned her sixth professional win at an event promoted by Fresquez. Like much of her opposition, she faced a fighter with a poor record. She was happy, though, that the bout was contested on the ground as well as on the feet, where she’s most comfortable and has the most experience.
“I feel like I keep learning, and I keep getting better,” Holm said. “I feel confident in a lot of things I’m doing, but I always want to keep learning more and more, see how it goes. One fight at a time is really all I want to focus on.”
Holm will need to beat more experienced competition to create a groundswell of fan demand to sign her to the UFC. If she eventually gets there, however, she’s under no illusions about the challenges that lie ahead.
And against Rousey? It’s no secret what skills she has to bring up to snuff.
“Obviously, I need to work on some grappling and armbar defense,” she said with a laugh. “But I definitely think I have the best camp to prepare me for a fight like that. Do I want to take that fight tomorrow? Not necessarily, but I don’t necessarily think I need 10 years to do it, either.”