Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm has never exactly been known as one to get involved in social media drama.
But she had to make an exception last month, after Cris Cyborg started making insinuations about Holm and performance-enhancing drugs on Twitter.
Holm, who meets Cyborg for the featherweight championship at UFC 219, posted a video on Instagram responding to Cyborg’s claims.
“I just know I compete clean and they test me all the time,” Holm said in the video. “So, I just never needed applause for passing my tests.”
On Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Holm explained why she felt like she needed to take what, for her, was an unusual step.
“I didn’t want my name to be associated with any kind of performance-enhancing drugs,” Holm said. “Because I’ve never used, ever. Not in any sport I’ve ever done in my life, not in anything I’ve ever done.”
While Cyborg is quite active on social media, Holm is more careful to pick her spots, and doesn’t feel compelled to make a statement every time she participates in USADA’s testing.
“Just because I don’t put it on my social media every time come to my house or come to my gym, doesn’t mean being tested,” Cyborg said. “It’s never an issue, they come and say they’re taking a drug test and I go, okay, so I do. It’s not like I plaster it out there saying ‘look I got tested today’ and let everybody know. It’s not really my style.”
But in this case, with Cyborg casting accusations — not just at her, but at the JacksonWink gym — she felt compelled to put a stop to things before they got out of control.
“I definitely don’t want that to be even something that would start the talk of Holly and performance enhancing drugs,” Holm said. “I just wanted to put stop to it right away. that’s not how I am training camps off of hard work. I just wanted to put a stop to that conversation before it got anywhere and before people on the internet went crazy.”
While trash talk is a major part of the fight hype game, Holm believes Cyborg, who has served a PED-related suspension, was “whining” about testing.
“It had nothing to do with pumping a fight, nothing to do with trying to even talk trash about a fight, that’s stuff’s normal,” Holm said. “But to be acting like, I’m not getting tested or whatever. I was the most tested last year, and even this year, I’m still tested more than she is, so I told her just to stop whining.”
Despite all this commotion, Holm, who has rarely been drawn into personal issues in either her MMA or boxing careers, says she has no personal animosity toward Cyborg as they head toward their fight.
“I’ve never had issues with Cyborg. I really haven’t. When I’ve seen her, she’s been a decent person. There’s definitely been a lot more attacking on her side. But that happens when fights are coming up keep. I really don’t take too much to it, I’m going to keep training. When it comes down to the fight, no matter how much trash talk there is, or no matter how much one can be nice to your face in public it doesn’t matter. Here’s the fact: She’s going to want to hit me as hard as she can, she’s going to want to knock me out. Same here. I want to knock her out, I want to win the fight. That’s the name of the game, so that’s what I’m here for.”
For the record, according to USADA’s searchable database, both Holm and Cyborg have been tested 11 times each thus far in 2017.