UFC 219 headliner Holly Holm ready for second chance at history

Updated December 4, 2017 - 11:07 pm

Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm believes most of Cris “Cyborg” Justino’s opponents are beaten before they ever step in the cage.

That won’t be the case for Holm when she challenges Justino for the women’s featherweight belt in the main event of UFC 219 at T-Mobile Arena on Dec. 30.

“I feel like I’m a style she hasn’t faced and I also feel I’m a different person altogether than what she’s faced,” Holm said of her opponent, who has won 18 straight fights since losing her pro debut — with only one going the distance. “A lot of these girls just get in there and they’re already wondering when she’s going to stop them by overwhelming them with punches. That is not my mindset. I want to finish her.

“I’m not going for a participation ribbon.”

She’s looking to take the belt that would make her the first two-division female champion in UFC history.

“I’d love it because it hasn’t been done and I’m always trying to do things that haven’t been done,” said Holm, who was more than a 12-to-1 underdog when she handed Ronda Rousey the first loss of her career to win the bantamweight title in 2015. “But even if there was no belt, I still want to beat her so badly.”

Holm had a chance to win the featherweight belt when it was created earlier this year. She fought Germaine de Randamie to determine the first champion because Justino was dealing with a potential doping violation, which did not not result in a suspension.

Holm believed she had done enough to win the belt, but she hasn’t spent much time dwelling on what could have been.

“A lot of people thought I won and I thought I won, but in my mind I still know I could have done more,” Holm said. “I felt like I did more than she did, but there’s things I know I did wrong. Rather than sulk about not winning, it’s more constructive to learn from what I did wrong and use it to get better.”

Tickets are now on sale for the fight, which will headline a UFC 219 card that includes a lightweight contender bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Edson Barboza.

Ngannou speaks out

Francis Ngannou’s crushing right uppercut knocked out Alistair Overeem on the UFC 218 card in Detroit and sent a message to heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.

Ngannou, however, saved his most powerful sentiment for the postfight news conference where he spoke out about recent reports and undercover videos of Nigerian men being sold on the streets of Libya.

“I want to dedicate this victory to all my brothers in Libya who are treated as slaves on this day,” he said. “This is not very fair. I feel really bad for that. That is criminal. Excuse me for my words, but I just want to say (expletive) slavery, (expletive) racists, (expletive) racism. Claim the freedom, claim the liberty.”

Ngannou is a native of Cameroon who spent time as a young adult homeless in Paris. The 31-year-old rising star now lives and trains in Las Vegas.

St. Pierre confirms illness

UFC middleweight champion Georges St. Pierre confirmed he is suffering from ulcerative colitis.

He confirmed the diagnosis on his Facebook page Saturday morning, hours after UFC president Dana White had revealed the news to reporters following “The Ultimate Fighter” 26 Finale card at Park Theater at the Monte Carlo.

“I now understand the health issues that I had during my last training camp,” St. Pierre wrote. “I hoped my condition would improve after the fight but unfortunately it got worse and I had to go straight to the hospital for a colonoscopy when I came back from vacation last Wednesday.”

St. Pierre returned from four years out of action to win the belt with a victory over Michael Bisping last month. The illness casts even more doubt on St. Pierre taking on interim champ Robert Whittaker in a unification bout.

“I am now taking medication that will hopefully appease the symptoms,” St. Pierre wrote. “My health is my #1 priority right now. I’m still a very happy man, thanks for your support!!!”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Covering The Cage Videos
Covering the Cage: Jones, Nunes win at UFC 232
Amanda Nunes defeats Cyborg in the women's featherweight division and Jon Jones returns to UFC as the light heavyweight champion. Covering the Cage host Heidi Fang and Adam Hill recap the UFC 232 main and co main events.
Las Vegas MMA fighter Joey Ruquet joins Copa Combate tournament
When Combate Americas' Copa Combate tournament takes place on Dec. 7, Las Vegas-based MMA fighter Joey Ruquet will step in for Gaston Reyno and compete for the $100,000 prize money in the 8-man, one night featherweight tournament.
Espino, Chiasson claim UFC contracts with wins at TUF 28 Finale
Juan Espino was crowned as the TUF heavyweight winner when he submitted Justin Frazier at the finale in Las Vegas and Macy Chiasson submitted Pannie Kianzad to become the TUF 28 women's featherweight winner.
Kamaru Usman excited for what's next after TUF 28 win
After taking a win over Rafael dos Anjos at the TUF 28 Finale, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman says he can be ready for anything that comes next or a quick turnaround if it gets him closer to a title shot.
Dana White on what's next for Usman and the flyweight division
UFC president Dana White spoke with media after the TUF 28 Finale to discuss what's next for the flyweight division and the main event winner, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman.
Dos Anjos and Usman TUF 28 media day
Rafael dos Anjos and Kamaru Usman talk about facing each other at the TUF 28 Finale at a media day leading up to the Nov. 30 contest. Their welterweight bout will serve as the main event.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like