New UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm believes she would beat Ronda Rousey 10 out of 10 times and disagrees with Chael Sonnen's claims that Rousey was woefully overrated by the media entering their fight.
Speaking to the New York Times as part of her victory tour after her shock win over Rousey at UFC 193 on Nov. 14, Holm was asked about Rousey's previous fights, the experience of being in the Octagon with such a champion and how she managed to cause the huge upset.
Holm said she was “impressed” by Rousey, but when asked how many fights she would win if they were to meet 10 times, she didn't hold back.
"Ten," Holm said. "Because if I tell myself that there is one that I might not get, then I’ll be vulnerable. I also know that I’m beatable, so I’m going to train twice as hard. She’s going to come back. She’s mad that it’s not her title anymore. I’ve got to be twice as ready as last time."
Holm's answer shouldn't come as a surprise. Top athletes on the highest level often boast the kind of self-confidence that borders on arrogance, but such self-belief is needed to continuously find success.
The Preacher's Daughter showed enough in her first fight with Rousey to warrant such confidence. As a massive underdog, she entered the Octagon with an undefeated champion who had been so dominant up to that point only one fighter had ever made it out of the first round.
Miesha Tate made it into the third round of the duo's rematch, while the next four challengers lasted less than three minutes combined, per ESPN. The 28-year-old Rousey had yet to show any signs of weakness, and fans were expecting more of the same at UFC 193.
Holm had other ideas, however. The former boxing champion moved her feet remarkably well and did an excellent job of keeping her distance from Rousey, whose skills as a grappler are unmatched in the bantamweight division.
She found plenty of success with her punches and elbows in the first round and administered more damage in the second before bringing the fight to an end with a massive kick to the head.
Stylistically, she looked like a nightmare opponent for Rousey from the beginning of the fight, and unless the former champion drastically changes her training for a potential rematch, a similar outcome would not be a surprise.
Rousey's unbeaten record and the perception surrounding the UFC star crumbled to pieces as she fell to the canvas, and some, like former UFC contender Sonnen, have suggested she may not have been as good as the media and the UFC proclaimed her to be.
Sonnen went on ESPN Radio's The Dan Lebatard Show (h/t MMAFighting.com's Marc Raimondi) to call Rousey a “media sensation,” but Holm told the same show (h/t MMAFighting.com's David St. Martin) she deserves more credit than that:
I think she was really able to run though people, though. She was kind of able to run through the girls in the division, but yes, everybody is beatable. I knew that. I'm not as bold as Chael to go out and say that. There was media around her but she was able to go in and take care of these girls so I hate to say that she's all hype. That's not what it is.
Here's audio of the interview:
It's unclear at this point whether Rousey will return to the Octagon to reclaim her title, but even if she plans to fight again, we likely won't be seeing much of her in the near future. Per MixedMartialArts.com, she has been suspended for six months for medical reasons, barring a negative CT scan, so a potential rematch will have to be put on hold.