Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm has made history within the mixed martial arts (MMA) community yet again.
Holm became the first-ever fighter to be honored by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for 50 “flawless” drug tests. USADA held a ceremony at Holm’s longtime gym, Jackson-Wink MMA, and was awarded with a custom letterman’s jacket by UFC VPs of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky and Donna Marcolini. Holm actually provided USADA with her 51st test prior to the ceremony. Former UFC champions Daniel Cormier and Jose Aldo also reached the milestone around the same time as Holm.
According to MMA Junkie, they will also be honored at future events. Holm reacted by saying she was honored to receive the milestone achievement, and appreciates what USADA is doing for the sport of MMA.
“It’s an honor to get this and I’m thankful that there is the test because I know that I’m facing someone who’s also clean,” Holm said. “I’ve never wanted to use any kind of performance-enhancing (drugs) because it’s something I wanted to know that I know my own hard work and my will and my passion and everything is something I’ve always relied on for a victory. I feel like it always gave me more of a confidence boost going in know that I went in and did it myself and didn’t have any help. I think that’s my mentality for it.”
Novitzky praised Holm as being a leader and model for the USADA program, and someone the MMA community can look up to.
“Her performance inside the octagon is clear, she’s a legend, but I think what this shows and what all of us know internally, is that Holly Holm is as much as a legend, a role model and a leader outside of the octagon as she is in the octagon,” Novitzky said.
“I’m so proud to be able to be up front and observe her career and have her be that leader and that role model for the UFC and our program. Not just to other UFC athletes, but to other MMA athletes from other promotions, other professional athletes and to young boy and girl athletes throughout the world. Holly Holm is the epitome of a leader and a role model.”
Holm went on to say she’ll continue to try and be a good example for her fellow fighters, as well as continue to build her legacy inside the Octagon.
“I still get really curious about all the different supplements because, people out there are taking stuff that they don’t even know that they’re taking, or not intentionally wanting to take,” Holm said. “I’m just really glad we have programs like this that help us out, that let us know and have confidence in what we’re taking. I’m going to try to keep doing well going forward, and having victories, and doing the best I can for my legacy.”
What do you think about USADA honoring Holm for 50 clean drug tests?