MANILA, Philippines – Although Holly Holm’s title-winning performance over the weekend is a cause for celebration for boxing supporters, UFC president Dana White shot down the notion that it would entice other boxers to compete inside the Octagon.
Holm overcame significant odds to score a major upset by dethroning Ronda Rousey for the women’s bantamweight championship in the main event of UFC 193 on Sunday, November 15 (Manila time).
The 34-year-old native of Albuquerque, New Mexico knocked out Rousey with a left head kick and polished her off with follow-up punches on the ground to compel referee Herb Dean to intervene at the 0:59 second mark of round two.
Despite Holm’s impressive victory over a well-rounded mixed martial arts (MMA) competitor like Rousey, White downplayed the chances of other pugilists who wish to strut their wares inside the UFC cage.
“I don’t know if that will be a good idea,” he stated during the post-UFC 193 press conference. “If I was a boxer, I won’t be running here too quick.”
Three-division boxing titleholder James Toney doggedly pursued a bout in the UFC and received his shot in August 2010 when he faced MMA legend Randy Couture.
In a one-sided drubbing, Couture submitted Toney in less than 4 minutes with an arm-triangle choke.
More infamously, Art Jimmerson fought at the inaugural UFC event in November 1993 wearing one boxing glove and quickly yielded to Royce Gracie by way of submission.
Unlike Toney and Jimmerson, the head honcho stressed that Holm was already a force to be reckoned with during her boxing days, amassing a 33-2-3 record and capturing 18 titles in 3 separate weight classes.
In addition, Holm elected to try her hand in kickboxing, where she won two of her 3 matches.
“She was 9-0 in mixed martial arts. She had fights. She took her time and worked her way up. She has a kickboxing background,” White said of Holm.
Prior to his stint as the top brass of the world’s leading MMA promotion, White used to be an amateur boxing manager and trainer in Boston, a city known for being one of the major contributors in the sport’s golden age as it created big names such as Rocky Marciano, Marvin Hagler, John L. Sullivan, Paul Pender and John Ruiz.
White also teamed up with “The Ultimate Fighter” executive producer Craig Piligian to produce a reality boxing television series entitled “The Fighters” that aired on Discovery Channel in 2014. – Rappler.com