Holly Holm: UFC champion does not want to be a 'one-hit wonder'

Holly Holm
Holm defeated Rousey with a second-round knockout in November to win the bantamweight title

Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight champion Holly Holm says she does not want to be known as a "one-hit wonder".

The American stunned the mixed martial arts world by knocking out champion and undefeated Ronda Rousey, the 1-20 favourite, in a UFC title fight last November.

Now the 34-year-old former boxer, who has won all 10 of her UFC fights, is preparing to defend her title against Miesha Tate at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday.

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"I don't want to create my whole career and life in one moment," Holm, nicknamed the Preacher's Daughter, told the BBC World Service.

"There's a lot weighing on this fight, there's a ton of emotional stresses. In a lot of ways, it's tougher for me. People have high expectations after the last fight."

On fighting Tate

Holly Holm and Miesha Tate
Tate (left) is nicknamed The Cupcake because her opponents thought she would be easy to fight

American Tate, the number two ranked bantamweight, has won her last four fights in the octagon but has been beaten twice by Rousey.

The 29-year-old's last loss came against the former champion in 2013 when she submitted in 58 seconds.

"She's really good at grinding it out," said Holm of Tate, a wrestling specialist. "She can be behind in a fight and she is not mentally broken.

"She is coming out of a two-year winning streak. She has had way more time in the octagon than me, a lot more fighting, so there's a lot of things that present a threat to me."

On MMA in the Olympics

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UFC's co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta told the BBC World Service that he believes mixed martial arts will eventually become an Olympic sport.

It is an idea backed by Holm, a former professional boxing champion.

"Why not? The Olympics, to me, is seeing the best that every country has to offer," he said.

"I hope they let it be professional fighters. A lot of the other sports in the Olympics are professional. I say let it be. How awesome would it be to be in the Olympics?"

On criticism of UFC

Holly Holm
After her defeat to Holm, Rousey said: "It might be three to six months before I can eat an apple, let alone take an impact"

Author and newspaper columnist Matthew Syed recently wrote in the Times that he felt "unease" at the sport's "no-holds-barred nature."

He added: "I do wonder about the way this slickly marketed activity legitimises the basest instincts of the human psyche, and celebrates bloodshed. The sooner it falls out of favour, the better."

But Holm dismisses claims the sport is too brutal, insisting the critics have the wrong view.

"Sometimes I think they look at this sport and see it as two caged people going crazy," she said.

"That's not it at all. It's two people chasing a common goal, chasing a dream."

She added: "You can't be the champion without another fighter, you can't get through without the other person.

"It's not like you pick on someone from the street. They both sign a contract, train very hard and are really reaching for greatness. There's nothing brutal about that, it's beautiful."

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On the demands of UFC

Holm, who was also a kickboxing champion before making her mixed martial arts debut in 2011, says it requires "passion" to make it to the top and there is not much money when you start out.

"You're starting in amateur shows, putting money out of your own pocket to learn the sport," said Holm, who defeated Rousey in front of a UFC record crowd of 56,214 in Melbourne, Australia.

"If there are females in there doing it professionally, let me tell you they've been working their butts off for a lot of years."

On a rematch with Rousey

"If that opportunity comes, then yeah," says Holm.

"I'm all about taking each opportunity and making the best of it. I only think about one fight at a time."

Holly Holm was talking to Ade Adedoyin, of BBC World Service

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