Holly Holm will be looking to prove she’s still a viable title challenger tomorrow night (Sat., May 21, 2022) at UFC Vegas 55 live on ESPN+ from inside UFC Apex from Las Vegas, Nevada, when the former UFC women’s bantamweight champion meets Ketlen Vieira in the main event.
Holm, who will be fighting for the first time since turning 40 this past October, is currently having one of the better stretches of her UFC career. In fact, Holm has won back-to-back fights over veterans Irene Aldana and Raquel Pennington to give her the first two-fight win streak since her debut campaign back in 2015.
That said, Holm hasn’t competed since her five-round decision win over Aldana over seven months ago. She has been nursing a knee injury and had to withdraw from a scheduled bout with Norma Dumont, but the former UFC champion is feeling much better and eager to step back inside of the Octagon.
“It feels good to be in a place that I’m actually competing,” said Holm earlier this week during UFC Vegas 55’s media day. “I’ve been training. Even through the stuff I had going on, I’ve been training. Not to where I could really go 100 percent and have this goal I’m shooting for. … It feels good to get in there, and it also comes with all the nerves that come with it. Which also makes me know it’s real.
“I feel it. I’m living life. I care if I win. I think that’s another thing. I think those nerves just remind me that I care.”
Fortunately, Holm is in a great position to fight for another UFC title if she can take out Vieira this weekend. Current UFC women’s bantamweight champion Julianna Pena is expected to defend her title in a rematch with Amanda Nunes later this year, but after that the next title shot is wide open. Holm has already lost to Nunes so a matchup with Pena would be an easier sell, but if Holm can show up and show out at UFC Vegas 55 then she will have enough ammunition to score a rematch with” “Lioness” as well.
“I have to win regardless,” Holm said. “I hate to lose. I just hate to lose, period. No matter what’s on the line. Whether I’m in practice training – I want to win the rounds when I’m in training. If I’m in front of two people, if I’m in front of 2 million people, if I’m in front of the whole world. I just hate to lose. That’s No. 1. I want to get in there and I want to win on Saturday.
“But as far as a career, if you don’t win your next steps and your next options are never as many as you want and they’re more limited. You take a step back instead of a step forward. So yes, in the long run, I need this win so that I can keep progressing forward because I want to get to the belt.”
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