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Holly Holm supports Gina Carano UFC title shot, believes Ronda Rousey deserves pound-for-pound ranking among men

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"The Preacher's Daughter" has been very diplomatic in the days following her ZUFFA contract announcement. Wolf in sheep's clothing?

Esther Lin

If Holly Holm knows how to talk trash, she might be saving it for her next big fight.

Or, it's possible that the newest addition to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight roster just doesn't believe in smack talk to promote a fight, since everything she's said to date (including this) has been complimentary toward her peers.

That includes rival bantamweight Gina Carano, who could cut in front of the contender's line and get an immediate title shot later this year, a luxury not afforded to Holm.

"The Preacher's Daughter" reacts during her conversation with ESPN:

"Carano has been on the big show before, so she can handle the pressure. There are a lot of girls who have been working hard for a shot who might deserve it a little more than someone who has been out that long, but Carano has put a lot of time in before. She's earned her spot in certain ways. Who am I to say Carano is undeserving of an opportunity? I'll let the promoter make those decisions."

As far as deciding who joins the promotion's pound-for-pound list, that's up to the mixed martial arts (MMA) media, who has division queenpin Ronda Rousey sitting pretty at No. 9, beating out welterweight champion Johny Hendricks and men's 135-pound titleholder TJ Dillashaw (see the full list here).

Holm's take?

"I know there is a certain strength in men that is a little different in females but personally I would like to be on a pound-for-pound list that's mixed. It's a compliment. Heck yeah, let's do it. In 2008, I was nominated for an ESPY for best fighter of the year. I knew I wasn't going to win. I was up against Floyd Mayweather, Kelly Pavlik and Georges St-Pierre, but I'll tell you, it was more of an honor for me to be nominated best fighter of the year than female athlete of the year because I was grouped in with those guys."

If it was up to UFC President Dana White, Rousey would be No. 1 (because of this).

As of now, it's too early to tell who Holm will face in her first UFC fight, as she is still recovering from arm surgery (pic). She is, however, only expected to need one fight inside the Octagon before challenging for the title, based on her accomplishments in boxing, as well as her undefeated MMA record on the regional circuit.

For more on Holm's UFC deal click here.