Holly Holm: Got My Hands Full With Valentina

Last November, Holly Holm shocked the world by knocking out previously unbeaten Ronda Rousey at UFC 193. It wasn’t a lucky kick or punch, either. Holm dominated much of the fight before finishing it less than a minute into the second round to become the women’s bantamweight champion.

“It’s one of the best feelings of my life,” Holm said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “That’s definitely what you work for. That’s what you dream about and that’s what you get in the sport for. That’s what I’m passionate about. Those moments are when you think, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s all been worth it.’ It’s definitely a moment I’ll never forget, but I can’t stop there. I want to keep moving forward. I don’t want to live my career over excitement from one fight. I want to keep moving forward.”

Holm (10-1) lost the belt to Miesha Tate at UFC 196 in March in her first title defense. She will face Valentina Shevchenko (12-2) at UFC on Fox this Saturday in Chicago.

“I’m feeling good,” Holm said. “I am ready for the fight. I got my hands full with Valentina. She’s a very, very tough opponent. I’m just trying to stay focused this week and not let my focus be anywhere else and try to make the most of it when Saturday comes.”

The women’s bantamweight belt has been a hot potato as of late, as Tate lost her first title defense to Amanda Nunes at UFC 200. Is the rotating title a good thing or bad thing for UFC?

“I feel like it’s created a lot of curiosity,” Holm said. “A lot of people are wondering what’s really going to happen in our division. It shows that it’s a very competitive division. I always have known that our division is very competitive, but I think that it’s good. I think that for a while it started being one of these things where everybody thought that it was going to be one champion forever. I think this just shows that the sport is growing, the competition is constantly getting better and so there’s always going to be something new to see, something new to watch. There’s always going to be somebody that’s passionate and hungry, and I think it’s good. . . . What I need to do is take care of the fight that’s at hand and not look too far forward.”

Holm, 34, hopes to one day get another title shot. She tries to learn from every match – win or lose.

“I always want to be evolving,” she said. “I always want to be becoming a better fighter. So yes, I definitely learn. I learn in all of it. But I think there’s things that you can really look at yourself in defeat and learn. So you learn the most from those fights sometimes, as hard was they are to take. You have to sit there and be honest with yourself. That’s the hardest part. I think that you learn the most in defeat, but I don’t only want to learn from a loss. I want to be able to keep getting better and learn from victory as well.”

Holm was also asked about the recent string of failed drug tests involving Jon Jones and Brock Lesnar.

“All I know is I’m just worried about me and what I put in my body,” she said. “I’ve been the most-tested athlete in the UFC, so for me, as long as I know that I’m doing it clean and right, that’s all I worry about. I don’t really think too much about anybody else because that’s out of my control and I don’t like to stress out about things I can’t control.”

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