Holly Holm thinks she may face Peña next
Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm thinks it’s âdoableâ that she’s the first contender for Julianna PeÃ±a’s reign to the 135-pound throne.
Since her last title shot, a brutal knockout loss to former defending champion Amanda Nunes in 2019, Holm has returned to the fight with unanimous decision wins over Raquel Pennington and Irene Aldana. However, injuries have blocked the 40-year-old’s pursuit to regain the belt and join Rose Namajunas at the two-time champion club.
âThe Preacher’s Daughterâ was slated for an apparent title eliminator against PeÃ±a at UFC Vegas 26 in May. After being sent off due to hydronephrosis, Holm found herself on the sidelines while “The Venezuelan Vixen” was rushed to the title.
Having had her comeback fight against Norma Dumont in October also called off, this time due to a knee injury, Holm’s string of bad luck means she was unable to enter the Octagon in 2021 and that will have it’s been over a year since her victory over Aldana when she does the walk again.
This, of course, frustrated Holm to a great extent. Nonetheless, she is recovering and says that she will not let her injuries and problems “break” her.
âI’m super frustrated,â said Holm talking to MMA Fighting. âI am definitely on the mend. Hope to be back there, resume training and go back. I feel a little better. I had to take care of certain things. It’s super frustrating, especially when I see people fighting, especially [Nunes vs. PeÃ±a] but all the time.
âEvery time I watch the fights it’s so frustrating because I want to get into it so badly. I don’t want to accept that I can’t fight, but I’ve been very lucky to have a career where I’ve been quite active. Last year there was some stuff that came from left field. I’m taking care of it. I will continue to move forward. I will not let myself be broken and want to go back very soon.
Holm sees PeÃ±a’s match resurrected
Despite her long layoff, Holm believes there is a chance she will end up in her sixth fight for the UFC Championship when she returns. Having already been scheduled to take on PeÃ±a, the veteran believes there is a chance the match will be revisited soon, this time with the belt on the line.
After Holm’s injury gave PeÃ±a a title shot, the challenger did the unthinkable. At UFC 269 earlier this month, âThe Venezuelan Vixenâ brought the fight to Nunes like few had done before her. After injuring the âLionessâ in the feet, PeÃ±a dragged the Brazilian to the mat and subjected her in what was arguably one of the greatest upheavals of all time.
Holm, who knows a thing or two about reversing the odds, thinks it’s “doable” for her to return to face the champion before Nunes has her chance to claim the gold.
“It’s honestly, it’s a very doable thing [that PeÃ±a could be next]”Said Holm.” You never know what’s going to happen. Are they going to say let’s come back right now? There were times a fighter said ‘I need a little more time before a rematch âorâ I need this, I need this. âSo you never know what’s going to happen.
But before that, Holm will need to make sure she’s 100% ready and ready for a comeback, and the fact that she can’t say she is at the moment is clearly a nuisance for “The Preacher’s. Daughter “.
âSo yeah, it’s super frustrating. I want to be back in there. I want to be able to say hello, I’m ready to fight anyone, anytime. I am very close to it. Of course, it’s super frustrating.
Considering his age and background in the sport, it stands to reason that Holm’s return will signal his final charge for a second title crown. With the way the current champion has come to this, anything is certainly possible.
How do you think a fight between champion Julianna PeÃ±a and former defending champion Holly Holm would play out?