UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm has denied claims made by former WWE and ECW Superstar Taz that her win over Ronda Rousey on Nov. 14 was fixed.
Speaking on CBS Radio's The Taz Show: Bodyslams and Beyond earlier this month, Taz claimed the result was set up. He claimed the UFC wanted a new champion with Rousey set to take a break from the sport, as is often done in professional wrestling, per Bryan Altman of CBS Local Sports. However, Holm has denied that is the case.
“No. No MMA fighting, especially with the UFC is going to be set up,” she said on Larry King Now (h/t Nick Paglino of Wrestle Zone). “These fighters go in there, and there’s a reason Dana (White, UFC President) gives out those performance bonuses.”
Holm shocked the MMA world when she scored a stunning knockout win over the formerly undefeated Rousey in front of a packed crowd in Melbourne, Australia. Here’s a reminder of what was a brutal fight and finish from the new champion:
It was the finishing series that Taz claimed on his podcast was predetermined, branding the kick to the head from Holm and subsequent strikes as “the work.” The former ECW champion claimed Rousey was “in on it” but that “Holm might not have been in on it.”
Rousey was adamant in the buildup to the fight that while she was willing to take a break from the sport after a busy year, she wanted to eventually retire undefeated, per Mike Bohn of Rolling Stone. As a fierce competitor, as was evident in fights before the one with Holm, it’s easy to take those claims at face value.
It’s a major disservice to the performance of Holm to make those kinds of suggestions, too, as she executed her game plan to perfection on the night. After all, MMA is a discipline that is tailor-made for shock results, and Rousey, who was previously immaculate inside the Octagon, is the latest big name to discover that.
As UFC interim featherweight champion Conor McGregor noted in the aftermath, the nature of MMA always makes for unpredictable, anarchic fights:
Holm’s reaction to the claims is pretty muted, all things considered. To question the integrity of the biggest win of her career to date is a massive allegation, and she would have been well within her rights to turn the spotlight on Taz. It’s a credit to her temperament that she responded with such composure.
There has already been talk about a possible rematch between Rousey and Holm, which would certainly make for intriguing viewing. The new champion would probably go into the second bout as the underdog once again despite her triumph last time out, but making it two victories against Rousey would prove her win was no fluke and put to bed any other allegations.