Holly Holm is open to a featherweight title bout against Cris Cyborg.
Holly Holm vs. Cris Cyborg is an idea that has floated around since last year, when Cyborg – real name Cristiane Justino – made her UFC debut at a catchweight of 140-pounds.
When the UFC finally introduced a women’s featherweight division, Holm was expected to face the Brazilian for the inaugural 145-pound title, but that fight fell through and ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’ ended up losing in a controversial decision to Germaine de Randamie at UFC 208.
De Randamie, a former kickboxer, vacated the title and Cyborg picked up the vacant belt with a third-round TKO over Tonya Evinger at UFC 214.
Holm, the former women’s bantamweight champ, returned to 135-pounds after losing to de Randamie but is open to a featherweight championship bout against Cyborg.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani on a recent edition of The MMA Hour, Holm said she’s waiting for the UFC offer her the fight.
“We’re waiting to see if it’s presented or not,” Holm said, per MMA Fighting’s Dave Doyle. “Its obviously something that, you know, we said we’re open to doing. We’ll see if it happens… I know she’s putting it out there saying she’s calling me out and everything like that. But that’s social media, a lot of that I don’t really get into.
“We’ve talked about it a couple times even, before the 145-pound weight was brought into the UFC. I had talked to Dana about doing catchweight but she said she didn’t think she’d really want to do that anymore. I said ‘well, I’m open to catchweight, whatever,’ then the 145-pound belt came in and, that’s when she was kind of on like a suspension, so from that point Germaine and I wound up fighting for the belt.”
Holm, a former three-division boxing world champion, welcomes the challenge of fighting someone considered one of the most dangerous fighters in WMMA and is preparing accordingly in the gym.
“I always want to take whatever opportunity is in front of me and whatever challenges me,” she said. “So, yeah, I think it happens but I’m not going to sit here and just focus on that… I’m training, I’m at the gym, I’m trying to go 70 percent not a hundred percent so I won’t be burned out, and whatever comes my way I want to be able to go into second gear and go hard.”
Holm last fought at UFC Fight Night 111, where she KO’d former bantamweight title challenger Bethe Correia in the third round with a perfectly timed head kick. The knock out win snapped a three fight losing streak.