Holly Holm is ready to take on Cris "Cyborg" Justino. But it'll cost the UFC.
In an interview with ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto, Holm went on record to say she is open to the contest. The former UFC bantamweight champion said that if the UFC approached her about the fight she would respond, "Let's negotiate."
Cyborg has pitched the fight on her social media account and changed her display name to "#UFC219 CyborgVHolm." On Tuesday evening, Cyborg posted that her manager had just gotten off a phone call with the UFC about the matchup.
In the interview, Holm stated her contract with the UFC is at 135-pounds. Thus, any negotiations for the proposed featherweight title tilt means she would want to renegotiate and get a higher guarantee because it is one of the biggest fights that the UFC could put on in their women's divisions.
Holm said: "This is a huge fight and I'm sure everybody around it, the promotion, is going to make money. So, I would expect more money."
Okamoto asked Holm if the UFC 219 date on December 30 would be enough time to prepare, and Holm confirmed that it would be.
Holm also responded to Cyborg's consistent calling out of fighters who compete at 135 pounds. Holm went as far as to say that perhaps it is Cyborg who is the one dodging fights. Holm likened it to her calling out any flyweight fighters and said Cyborg could make 135 if she wanted to make the effort.
Holm is in a position of relative power. She is the No. 2-ranked bantamweight contender, with Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko on deck at UFC 215. She would seemingly be next in line for a shot at the bantamweight strap, and she's the biggest fight in both divisions. She may be able to call her shot as to which belt she goes after.
On Wednesday morning, Cyborg tweeted an attempt to lessen Holm's claim to a potential bantamweight title shot noting her recent record.
And the featherweight champion went after Holm saying she has been "using my name" to negotiate in the past.
Cyborg needs a marquee opponent, but options are few and far between at featherweight. Holm is holding all the cards heading into negotiations. Expect Holm to force the UFC to make it worth her while if she does move up to 145 to take on the baddest woman on the planet.