The name Holly Holm has been swirling in the winds of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight division for some time now, especially after undefeated titleholder Ronda Rousey expressed interest in fighting her before retiring from mixed martial arts (MMA).
This talk intensified during the lead-up to UFC 171 in Dallas, Texas, when Dana White confirmed that he would be meeting with representatives for the Legacy Fighting Championship (Legacy FC) star and former world champion boxer at some point during the weekend.
Leading the charge was Holm's manager, Lenny Fresquez, who told MMA Junkie he was looking to secure the kind of deal that was commensurate with the return from a potential pay-per-view (PPV) event featuring the "Rowdy" champion, who is "the biggest star UFC ever had."
"Offers went back and forth. We already had guidelines of what we were going to agree on and what we weren't going to agree on. We're still a little ways (apart) and there's still a couple of items. We're very excited about getting Holly into the UFC. It's just my job to put Holly in the right hands. She's got to make at least what she makes here, and we're close on that. The thing is making sure we get paid for Ronda. We've gotta get paid to fight Ronda. I asked them, ‘Who's Ronda going to fight?' They said, ‘She could fight ‘Cyborg' or fight Gina Carano.' Those were the couple of other options that they were looking at. But I also know ‘Cyborg' can't make 135 pounds, and Gina can't make 135 pounds, so I know those fights can't be made for the UFC title."
If all went according to plan, this marquee match-up would occur somewhere down the line after Holm is able to win "two fights," according to comments Fresquez made to Sherdog.com. That would also make room for the returning Cat Zingano to get the title shot she was promised before her knee injury.
In the meantime, keep your eye out for Holm, as the next chance you have to see her is when she fights Juliana Werner at Legacy FC 30 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on April 4, 2014, for the promotion's inaugural women's 135-pound title. Then comes a potential move to UFC.
Champion vs. champion?