Holly Holm might not be signed to the UFC yet, but if and when that finally does happen she could well enter the promotion as a champion.
Legacy Fighting Championship President Mick Maynard confirmed to MMAFighting.com, that Holm will square off against Julianna Werner (7 & 3) in the promotion’s inaugural bantamweight title fight, with the fight being tentatively slated for the April 5th Legacy 30 card in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
By her record, Werner looks to be a decent test for Holm on the feet, but perhaps not so much on the ground. Having no submission victories to her name, “Julie” doesn’t appear to be a threat to take the fight to the mat and in terms of Holm’s career, that’s where she needs to be tested and proven. As it is the intent and hope of “The Preacher’s Daughter’s” management to see their fighter in the UFC, Holm will need to be prepared for the one fight that she really wants, which is one with Ronda Rousey and in that match, she better know how to fight on the ground or at least keep it on the feet. As such, she’d be better off fighting an opponent that was looking to take the fight to the ground as opposed to keep it standing. However and either way, the fight is another opportunity for her to stretch her winning streak and her first crack taking an MMA title. To that end, Holm is apt to be well motivated to take the win and the title, and subsequently raise her profile within WMMA.
In terms of moving to the UFC Holm is still under contract to Legacy FC for two more fights, inclusive of the one just announced and as such, is not a free agent. That said, her management has been in discussions with the promotion, but those discussion have yet to bare any fruit. As Holm’s trainer Mike Winkeljohn has characterized it, a number of conversations have been had with the brand, but as it stands they are “a little far apart.”
In consideration, it does appear that the UFC is interested in Holm, but either not at the price that is being asked or not at least without further evidence of her talents. If the latter is the case, then the premier brand will be able to have another look at Holm in April of next year.
As a side note to all of this, as Ronda Rousey has clearly stated that she would like to see the UFC sign Holly and that she would “love” to fight her before she (Rousey) retires, it’s a pretty safe bet that Holm will eventually be signed to the brand and that the fight will happen. Further, it would be a reasonable guess that fans will see Holly plying her wares in the UFC’s women’s 135 class before the end of 2014.
Outside photo courtesy of bjpenn.com