PH collegiate sports

Former boxer Holly Holm set for UFC debut in December

Nissi Icasiano
Holm will square off against UFC Season 18 alumna Raquel Pennington

DEBUT. Holly Holm will set foot in the Octagon come December. Photo from Holm's Facebook page


MANILA, Philippines – Three-division boxing world champion Holly Holm will make her highly-anticipated promotional debut on the undercard of the UFC 181 pay-per-view event on December 6 (December 7 in PH).

Holm inked an exclusive contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in July after a series of back-and-forth negotiations in the past few months.

For her initial assignment as an official UFC competitor, Holm takes on The Ultimate Fighter Season 18 alumna Raquel Pennington (4-4).

Pennington is 1-1 inside the Octagon, thumping Roxanne Modafferi via unanimous decision in November 2013 before yielding to Jessica Andrade by split verdict four months later.

Regarded as one of the best female fighters at 135 pounds since her transition to mixed martial arts (MMA) in March 2011, Holm sports a perfect record of 7-0.

The 5-foot-8 native of Albuquerque, New Mexico has won 6 of her 7 seven outings via knockout and is coming off a title-winning performance in April.

She stopped Juliana Werner to claim the inaugural Legacy FC women’s bantamweight belt.

She trains out of the Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA gym in her hometown and has been seen trading punches and kicks with UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, Carlos Condit and Donald Cerrone.

Potential Rousey rival?

At 32 years old, “The Preacher’s Daughter” has long been considered a tough test for Ronda Rousey’s bantamweight trinket.

As the world’s premier MMA promotion is quickly running out of viable options to square off with Rousey, the organization may have gotten her a stiff competition in Holm.

Prior to her MMA stint, Holm was already an unstoppable force to be reckoned with during her boxing days, amassing a 33-2-3 slate and capturing 18 titles in 3 separate weight classes.

UFC 181, which takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, is headlined by a welterweight championship rematch between current titleholder Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler.

Meanwhile, the co-headliner features a lightweight title showdown between reigning 155-pound kingpin Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez. –

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