There is one particular name of interest that is absent from Amanda Nunes’s growing résumé of casualties, and Holly Holm is happy to tell you who it is.
At UFC 239, Amanda Nunes will look to continue boosting her status as the consensus greatest female martial artist of all time, a reputation earned mostly due to the names that have has defeated: Cris Cyborg, Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, Valentina Shevchenko twice, among others, with each of those fighters having worn UFC gold in the past. But there is another woman who has been a UFC champion who is missing on that list and who brings an entirely different challenge to Amanda Nunes:
“In order to have two belts in two different divisions, you have to be a special something,” Holm told MMA Junkie at Monday’s UFC 239 media day in downtown LA. “But she hasn’t faced Holly and that’s the bottom line.
“This is a whole different fight,” Holm continued. “Is she great? Yes. Am I up against a great fighter? Yeah. It wouldn’t be a big expectant title fight, she wouldn’t be where she’s at if she hadn’t done great things, so yes, it’s a very big fight but I’m ready for it I’ve been training my butt off and that’s what I’m doing. I’m working for a win.”
Some might argue that because Cyborg beat Holm and Nunes beat Cyborg, the odds are strong that Nunes will beat Holm as well. But Holly Holm counters such MMA math with a “styles make fights” form of argumentation, invoking the name of another technical striker, Valentina Shevchenko, as an example.
“When you go out for a slugfest, anybody who lands that is going to go down,” Holm said. “Every fight makes a difference, the Cyborg and my fight is different than the fight between Amanda and Cyborg. You can look at things in a lot of different ways. You can look at something like Shevchenko and Nunes where Shevchenko gave her a hard time where she was so technical.”
UFC 239 takes place 6 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, streaming live on ESPN+
Do you believe Amanda Nunes will add Holly Holm’s name to her résumé at UFC 239?