“I’m just going to keep taking it a fight at a time and keep becoming a better fighter,” Holdsworth told MMAjunkie after the event.
Pena echoed his statements, as well.
“I’ll fight who ever the Fertitta brothers and Dana White and Sean Shelby put in front of me,” she said.
After spending a series of strenuous weeks inside the “TUF” house, the trying process finally came to an end for both fighters inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
Holdsworth (5-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) submitted David Grant (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) in impressive fashion on the men’s side of the bracket to continue an impressive current run inside the octagon for Team Alpha Male. Training alongside the likes of Urijah Faber, Joseph Benavidez, Chad Mendes and more, Holdsworth knows what it takes to become a success UFC fighter.
With that, he’s learned he cannot become complacent. So while he’s taking in the joy of his most significant career victory, he says this is just the beginning of a long UFC career.
“It’s definitely soaking in; it’s all been a crazy journey and just a great life experience and it’s just beginning,” Holdsworth said. “Burt Watson said yesterday at the fighter’s meeting, ‘It’s harder to stay here than it is to get here.’ So I’m just going to work my hardest to do my best and keep becoming a more complete fighter and just keep winning fights.”
For Pena (5-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC), her TKO win over Jessica Rakoczy (1-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) and the completion of the “TUF” process is a moment of self-validation. The 24-year-old had debated walking away from the sport prior to the show, and once she arrived in the house was viewed as an outcast by both teams.
While Pena has seen her ups and downs, the achievement of becoming the first-ever female “TUF” winner is something she’ll own forever.
“I know I’ve said this a lot but it means the world to me, it really does,” Pena said. “I do this for myself, I do it for my family, I do it for my fans and I’m just finally able to put the stamp on the end of it and seal the deal.”