A fight between Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm has seemed inevitable since the former boxing champion joined the UFC last year, but it’s perhaps come a little sooner than ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’s’ camp would have ideally hoped for.
Holm unexpectedly leap-frogged current No.1 contender Miesha Tate to land the title shot against Rousey last week at UFC 193 in November, and her manager Lenny Fresquez has since admitted that his initial reaction was to get a little more time in the Octagon first.
“Of course there was hesitation on my part [when the UFC offered us the fight],” Fresquez told Sherdog.com. “I asked them for one more fight and they said ‘No, this is the fight we would like you to take. We’re under contract and they’re our bosses.”
Holm is currently 2-0 in the UFC, 9-0 overall in MMA, while she has a wealth of experience in the boxing ring where she is an 18-time world champion with a 33-2-3 record.
All in all it’s an impressive resume, but the reality is that she hasn’t even faced at top 10 contender in mixed martial arts yet and she’s perhaps made heavier weather of her Octagon outings so far against Raquel Pennington and Marion Reneau resulting in two decision wins whereas outwith the UFC she had been running through her opposition with six stoppage wins via strikes in seven fights.
Then of course there’s the fact that we’ve never really seen her tested on the ground which is unquestionably the weakest part of her game after a career spent competing on the feet, and that’s a massive problem against someone with Rousey’s seemingly unstoppable judo and submission prowess.
So, if Holm has her heart set on becoming a UFC champion then it’s definitely not the ideal time for her to be facing the sport’s biggest star, though from a business perspective it sounds like it’s going to work out well for the 33 year-old.
“I can tell you that she will be making more than Cat Zingano [made at UFC 184],” was as far as Fresquez would go when asked about her purse.
Zingano earned $100,000 against Rousey for a bout that lasted just 14 seconds which would is twice what Holm earned for her last UFC bout. It’s hard to say how far beyond that Holm’s pay packet will stretch, though it should be noted that when Chad Mendes stepped in to fight Conor McGregor for the interim title at UFC 189 recently he banked a $500,000 sum, more than five times his normal salary (though stepping in at short notice may have increased his fee).
Whatever her salary ends up being it’s still pale in comparison to Rousey’s though, with Dana White stating recently that ‘Rowdy’ is now the promotion’s highest earner even before she takes her champion’s cut of the pay-per-view revenue.
Beyond purely the financial impact, this will also be, by her own admission, Holm’s biggest fight ever. In essence it’ll be a once-in-a-lifetime occasion with a huge amount of world-wide media exposure due to Rousey’s current status as a cultural phenomenon, not to mention the fact that it will be taking place at the Etihad stadium in Melbourne, Australia with plans to pack it with a record-breaking 70,000 fans for the occasion.