Holly Holm


Holly Holm is an American mixed martial artist and former professional boxer and kickboxer. Renowned for her striking capabilities and resilience, she’s etched her name as one of the most distinguished fighters in the history of women’s MMA.

Early life

Born Holly Rene Holm on October 17, 1981, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she grew up with a competitive spirit, a fire ignited by her family’s athletic background. She started her journey into the world of combat sports by dabbling in aerobics which eventually transitioned to kickboxing due to her interest in physical challenges. It was this early foundation that set the stage for her to evolve into a professional fighter.


Holly began her combat sports career in boxing. Her excellence in the sport was evident as she garnered multiple world boxing championships, including titles from the IBA, WBA, WBC, and IFBA. However, after reaching the pinnacle of the boxing world, Holly felt the urge to delve into a new challenge, leading her to the world of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

Amateur Kickboxing Journey

Holly Holm’s foray into boxing and kickboxing originated from aerobics sessions she attended at the age of 16. Noticing her innate fighting potential, her cardio-kickboxing mentor, Mike Winkeljohn, decided to nurture and train her further.

In September 2001, Holm clinched the championship crown in the International Rules Adult Women’s Welterweight Division during the International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) USA National Amateur Championship Tournament in Kansas City, Missouri. Participating in two matches during this tournament, she triumphed in the first, delivering a technical knockout just 34 seconds into the opening round. In the subsequent bout, she secured victory through a unanimous decision. This tournament marked the end of Holm’s amateur tenure, boasting an undefeated record of 6 wins, 0 losses, and 2 draws.

Professional Boxing Career

Holly Holm is celebrated for her accomplishments in the world of professional boxing. She’s not only claimed multiple welterweight boxing titles but is also acknowledged as one of the premier female welterweights globally, with some even ranking her among the all-time greats. Holm’s exceptional prowess in the ring earned her the prestigious title of Ring Magazine’s Female Fighter of the Year, consecutively in 2005 and 2006.

Her boxing appeal is particularly pronounced in Albuquerque, her hometown. Apart from three, all her matches took place there, with only one occurring outside New Mexico, solidifying her as a local boxing icon.

A pivotal moment in her career was in June 2008, where she claimed the title of the undisputed welterweight champion. She secured belts ranging from 140 to 154 pounds by triumphing over the erstwhile champ, Mary Jo Sanders, via decision. A subsequent rematch with Sanders in October 2008, hosted in suburban Detroit’s Palace of Auburn Hills, concluded in a stalemate.

A significant duel in her career transpired on December 2, 2011, against the renowned French knockout specialist, Anne Sophie Mathis, for the unclaimed IBA female and WBAN welterweight championships. In a shocking turn of events, Holm faced a brutal assault from the formidable Mathis, even being knocked down without the referee stepping in. The match culminated in the 7th round, with Holm experiencing a knockout, a result that many labeled as the year’s biggest upset in women’s boxing. However, displaying her characteristic resilience, Holm faced Mathis again on June 15, 2012. In this bout, she showcased her indomitable spirit, clinching a unanimous victory and retrieving the titles, thus redeeming her previous loss.

Professional MMA Career

She made her MMA debut in 2011 and quickly rose through the ranks, showcasing her exceptional striking abilities that had been honed from her boxing days. As she started racking up victories in MMA, it became evident that her skills were transcendent.

The zenith of her MMA career came on November 14, 2015, at UFC 193. In a bout watched by millions around the world, Holly Holm faced the then seemingly invincible Ronda Rousey. Against all odds and predictions, Holm’s disciplined striking and game plan culminated in a head kick heard around the world, dethroning Rousey and capturing the UFC Bantamweight Championship. This win was more than just a personal triumph; it was the epitome of dedication, strategy, and belief.

However, the journey wasn’t always smooth. Following her massive victory, Holly faced a series of losses, showcasing the highs and lows of a professional fighting career. Yet, through every setback, Holly’s resilience, work ethic, and unyielding spirit have kept her at the forefront of the MMA scene, continuing to inspire countless fans and fighters.

Fighting Style

Holm is distinguished by her dynamic lateral movements, frequently delivering powerful jabs to her adversary’s face. When positioned in close combat range, she typically adopts a defensive stance, awaiting the right moment to unleash her counterattacks, often with a sharp left straight punch. Holm’s expertise also shines in her punch combinations, particularly when cornering her opponents against the cage.

Esteemed boxer and ONE Championship contender, Ana Julaton, recognizes Holm as an instinctive mover. She highlights Holm’s footwork as a crucial advantage, aiding in the strategic execution of strikes. During UFC 193, Ronda Rousey faced significant challenges in narrowing the gap against Holm, taking multiple hits in the process. In her striking arsenal, Holm incorporates diverse kicking techniques. She frequently aims for the torso with swift side kicks, fends off aggressive advances with a low oblique kick, and targets the head with a formidable left high kick.

Holm was among the boxers captured on camera by artist Delilah Montoya and featured in the book “Women Boxers: The New Warriors.” Additionally, in 2016, she starred in the movie “Fight Valley” alongside fellow fighters Miesha Tate and Cris Cyborg.

Net Worth

Holm’s net worth was estimated to be around $4 million. This wealth accumulation stems not just from her fight purses, but also from endorsements, personal appearances, and other business ventures. Her iconic victory over Ronda Rousey bolstered her global recognition, making her a sought-after athlete for various endorsements and partnerships.


Holly Holm’s list of achievements is extensive, showcasing her prowess across multiple combat sports:

Multiple-time World Boxing Champion in various organizations.
Knockout victory over Ronda Rousey, earning the UFC Bantamweight Championship.
Inducted into the New Mexico Boxing Hall of Fame.
Honored with the ESPY Award for "Best Upset" in 2016 for her match against Rousey.

While these accolades offer a glimpse into her professional success, it’s her perseverance, sportsmanship, and respect for the art of fighting that truly define her legacy.

Social Profile

Holm maintains an active presence on social media, connecting with her fans and sharing snippets of her training, life, and motivational insights. You can follow her on:

Instagram: @hollyholm
Twitter: @HollyHolm

Her social profiles offer a window into the life of one of MMA's most iconic fighters, showcasing her dedication to the sport and her undying spirit.