After a red-hot start to her mixed martial arts (MMA) career, one that saw her go 10-0 and win the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s Bantamweight title by knocking out Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 back in 2015 (see it), Holly Holm’s career has cooled down.
“The Preacher’s Daughter” has gone on to lose three in a row, a whirlwind of bad luck that all began after she was choked out by Miesha Tate at UFC 196, coughing up her 135-pound title in the process.
But to hear her striking coach Mike Winkeljohn tell it, Holm hasn’t been fighting scrubs. And when you’re fighting the cream of the crop, a losing streak isn’t that out of the ordinary.
“Holly has lost three fights in a row, but here is the deal: She lost to the world champion that beat her for her world title, she lost to Valentina who is fighting for the world title, and she lost to Germaine in a world title fight,” Winkeljohn told The MMA Hour. “It sucks, but at that level it’s 50-50 sometimes in these big fights.”
And while he obviously doesn’t see his pupil dropping four straight, Wink knows getting a victory this weekend against Bethe Correia at UFC Fight Night 111 -- which is set for Singapore Indoor Stadium on June 17 — is of the utmost importance.
“If she was to lose this fight it actually could be ‘die’. I would never see Holly retiring on a loss, and she’s not going to lose,” he said. “So it’s not do-or-die, it’s just a ‘do’ situation, honestly.”
“It would be there if we were doing a hypothetical thing and if I thought she could actually lose, but I just don’t see Holly losing,” he continued. “She’s looking really good, got a really good gameplan and great people helping her out.”
As for what Coach Wink eyes for Holly should she prove victorious this weekend, he didn’t hide his intentions of going for yet another title fight.
“After this fight that we have to get through this first, I don’t want to talk about, but after this fight I want a world title shot, that’s what I want. The winner at 135 or a world title shot at... I have no idea what’s going at 145 pounds, but that would be it.”
The women’s Featherweight division is an absolute mess, as reigning champion Germaine de Randamie refuses to defend her belt agaisnt No. 1 contender Cris Cyborg, as she is fully focused on heading back down to 135 pounds.
That said, Holm’s best bet is to stick it out at bantamweight if she wants to get another championship bout.
Assuming she gets through “Pitbull,” of course.