Holly Holm is a mixed martial artist who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight division. Holm is also a former professional boxer and kickboxer. During her boxing career, she became an 18-time world champion in three separate weight classes.
Holm's most notable win in MMA occurred at UFC 193 (November 15, 2015), in front of a record-breaking crowd for a UFC event (56,215 people) in Melbourne, when she captured the bantamweight title and gave Ronda Rousey her first loss in the sport. This fight is generally considered to be one of the biggest upsets in combat sports history.
Holly's path to a boxing career began with aerobics. Her aerobics instructor was Mike Winkeljohn, who also taught kickboxing. Winklejohn soon saw Holm's potential. In Kansas City, MO in the Fall of 2001, Holly competed in the International Kickboxing Federation and Ringside's annual amateur kickboxing USA national championship tournament.
Holly defeated Chrisanne Roseleip by unanimous decision in the final round of the tournament, winning the national title in the international rules adult women's welterweight division, which would mark her last kickboxing appearance before her pro debut. Her overall amateur kickboxing record stood at 6-0-2.
She has held several welterweight titles and was regarded by some as one of the best female welterweight in the world and among the best of all time. She also has been named Ring Magazine female Fighter of the Year, twice in consecutive years in 2005 and 2006. She is a big draw in her home town of Albuquerque, having all but 3 of her fights there and just one of her fights outside of her home state of New Mexico. In June 2008 she became the undisputed welterweight champion and holder of belts from 140 to 154 by defeating former champ Mary Jo Sanders by decision
Holm made her mixed martial arts debut on March 4, 2011. She co-headlined the card with Jackson's Submission Fighting teammate Keith Jardine. Holm won the fight via TKO in the second round after her opponent was unable to continue due to leg kicks inflicted by Holm.
Holm was born on October 17, 1981 in Sandia Heights in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Holm grew up in Bosque Farms, New Mexico, and graduated from Manzano High School in 2000, then studied for a year at the University of New Mexico. She played soccer and tried gymnastics, swimming and diving before getting into boxing and kickboxing.
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