“I 100 percent stand by it, because we’re still waiting for Ronda to come back. And that was my point being. I told them, I said, ‘I will wait for the rematch with Ronda as long as we can promise that it will be by a certain time.’ The best way I’ve been trying to explain it is OK, then technically I would still have the title right now, but what would I be doing with it? Just polishing it sitting on the wall? What would be my goal? I’m in this sport because I like to fight. I’m in this because of passion. I wanted to fight. I didn’t want to just hold onto it. OK, I could have said I held the belt longer, but for what? Just to sit around? I wanted to fight and I wanted to challenge myself. And did it end up in a loss? Yes. But that’s not because I didn’t take the fight with Ronda, it’s because I didn’t perform well when I fought Miesha. I made a big mistake… I don’t think that a whole division should be based around one fighter, one fight, one moment. I don’t want my career to be based around one fighter. It’s my career, too. And I wanted to keep pushing forward with it and doing well with it. If I wait around for one fighter, then what is that for me? So am I second best or second priority now? I want to fight for myself and my career and not for someone else.”
-UFC on Fox 20 headliner Holly Holm, in a media luncheon for Saturday’s event in Chicago, continues to defend her decision to fight Miesha Tate in March rather than wait out Ronda Rousey for the rematch (transcribed by MMAFighting.com).
Penick’s Analysis: Holm wasn’t in the wrong for taking the fight with Tate, but it was a fight she couldn’t afford to lose at that point. She harmed her relationship with the UFC a bit and got punished for the decision by not getting the rematch at UFC 200, but she might get right back into things with a win Saturday over Valentina Shevchenko. The rematch with Tate is still there, the rematch with Rousey could still happen, and indeed the UFC could set up all of it with a mini tournament in the fall. Put Tate and Holm in together if Holm beats Shevchenko, then have Rousey return against Amanda Nunes. If Rousey recaptures the title and Holm beats Tate, that rematch is then set up. Holm will have avenged the Tate loss, and Rousey will get her chance at avenging the Holm loss. If either lose, it takes that out as a necessity.
[Photo (c) Mark J. Rebilas via USA Today Sports]
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