Coach: Holly Holm will recover from head kick KO, unlike Ronda Rousey

Holly Holm’s head coach Mike Winkeljohn is certain Holly Holm will bounce back from her head kick KO loss, unlike her former opponent Ronda Rousey.

The former bantamweight champion looked to reclaim her belt last weekend, but couldn’t defeat the strong adversity that presented itself in Amanda Nunes. At UFC 239, Holm received a head kick and a flurry of punches that secured a first round KO victory for “The Lioness”.

Two days after the fight finished, “The Preacher’s Daughter” was back in the gym to regroup with her training team. Their first approach: watch the fight and break down Holm’s performance.

Her head coach, Mike Winkeljohn revealed his analysis to MMA Fighting.

“I figured Amanda would game plan counter punching Holly because Holly has a tendency as of late to really lunge and people have been catching her when she lunges, that kind of thing. So they were both waiting for each other. I know it didn’t seem like a lot of action but there were a lot of little things going on there, jockeying for position, getting each other’s timing.”

Winkeljohn used fight analysis to develop the performance and strategy of his fighters moving forward. He was overall proud of Holm’s performance but acknowledged her mistakes:

“Holly told me, we watched tape yesterday, she said she felt good. She was getting her timing and working but then she hesitated on a kick. She had done it earlier, which was a mistake and she said she wishes she hadn’t have done that. She told herself that starting to throw a kick and deciding to stop, that was stupid, don’t do it again, don’t get caught. And then she got caught. No excuses. Amanda kicks hard. She hits hard. She’s a scary person and that’s incredible.”

Holm’s speedy return to action in the gym is a testament to her dedication to the sport. The same can’t be said for all fighters after experiencing a loss. Winkeljohn differentiated between Holm’s mentality and Ronda Rousey:

“Holly’s going to be back. She’s definitely one of the fighters in the gym. She works harder than anybody else. She has the desire and the passion, which is higher than anybody in the gym,”

Dana White attributes Ronda Rousey for paving the way for women’s MMA. Her ‘take no prisoners’ approach garnered major support. However, fans were quick to jump off the Rousey hype train after she experienced two consecutive losses. Ironically this included a head kick knock out loss inflicted by Holly Holm. Rousey did not take the losses well and decided to step away from the UFC spotlight.

Winkeljohn insinuates that Holly Holm’s fighting attitude, (win or lose) outclasses that of Ronda Rousey. He said,

“She’s exactly the opposite of what Ronda Rousey did after Holly knocked her out. Ronda, her whole world was over and all these bad things, which is not what young ladies or anybody needs to hear in this world. S—t happens. When bad things happen, what makes you great is your ability to deal with it and go forward. That’s what Holly has decided to do. That’s what she’s done her whole life and she will go forward.”

How do you think Holly Holm will respond to this stoppage loss?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/12/2019.

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UFC 239 ‘Thrill and Agony’: See Kamaru Usman’s face when Jorge Masvidal KOs Ben Askren

Once again, the UFC takes us behind the scenes of its latest pay-per-view – this time at UFC 239 in Las Vegas.

UFC 239 took place this past Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+/UFC Fight Pass.

In the UFC 239 “Thrill and Agony” preview, we get a behind-the-scenes look at the night’s featured action, including Jon Jones’ (25-1 MMA, 19-1 UFC) light heavyweight title defense against Thiago Santos (21-7 MMA, 13-6 UFC) in the main event, Amanda Nunes’ (18-4 MMA, 11-1 UFC) women’s bantamweight title defense against Holly Holm (12-5 MMA, 5-5 UFC) in the co-headliner, and, of course, Jorge Masvidal’s (34-13 MMA, 11-6 UFC) record-setting finish of Ben Askren (19-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) in the featured bout.

Check out the full clip above to see the outpouring of emotions on all sides following the night’s featured action, including an audience full of shocked fans and fighters when Masvidal stopped Askren with a flying knee in five seconds.

The video is a preview of “Thrill and Agony.” The full episode is available on UFC Fight Pass for subscribers.

For complete coverage of UFC 239, check out the UFC Results section of the site.

Holly Holm speaks on UFC 239 loss to Amanda Nunes

At UFC 239, Holly Holm sought to usurp the UFC bantamweight throne by unseating reigning champion Amanda Nunes. Regrettably for Holm and her dedicated fanbase, this mission did not go as planned, as she was stopped by a first-round head kick and volley of followup punches.

Speaking in a video on her Instagram story on Tuesday, Holm addressed this tough setback, assuring her fans that she will keep moving forward, as the Bee Gees’ Stayin’ Alive played in the background.

“I always say I get to live the life of a dream. I never actually dreamed of getting kicked in the face, that’s never part of my dream,” Holly Holm said (transcript via MMA Fighting). “That’s like on the nightmare part, living a little nightmare, wake up every morning like, ‘Yup, that’s real, that just happened.’ But I just want you guys to know I’m feeling good and I know one thing: I’m still pushing forward.

“A lot of heartbreak right now, but I’m doing fine, I just want you guys to know I appreciate the love and support,” she concluded. “And if you would like to have free lip filler, just get kicked in the face.”

With this loss to Amanda Nunes, the 37-year-old Holly Holm finds herself with a tough 2-5 record in her last seven fights. Prior to this rocky seven-fight stretch, she enjoyed a 10-fight undefeated run which climaxed with an unforgettable head-kick knockout of Ronda Rousey. Needless to say, she has now been on both ends of this devastating attack.

Despite the fact that she seems inclined to keep fighting, UFC President Dana White claimed after UFC 239 that he would talk to her about her fighting future. 

“She’s an incredible athlete, an incredible human being. I don’t know. I think she needs to take a look at what’s next for her,” White said at the UFC 239 press conference.

“I’m just saying that because I care about her as a person. She’s amazing. [It’s just] something we should probably talk about.”

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/10/2019.

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Holly Holm releases statement following brutal KO loss to Amanda Nunes

Holly Holm UFC 239 Q&A

Following Holly Holm’s crushing defeat to champ-champ Amanda Nunes at UFC 239 on Saturday, UFC president Dana White expressed his concern for the former bantamweight champion, saying he felt it was time for Holm to consider retirement.

“Father Time is undefeated, he kicks all of our asses, especially professional athletes,” White said at Saturday’s UFC 239 post-fight press conference.

“(Holm is) almost 40 years old and she’s in ridiculous shape. The things that this woman can do physically with the rings and gymnastics and all that stuff is phenomenal. She’s an incredible athlete, an incredible human being. I don’t know. I think she needs to take a look at what’s next for her.”

Holm released a statement via an Instagram story, not exactly addressing White’s call for her to retire, but not sounding like she was quite ready to consider retirement either.

“I always say I get to live the life of a dream. I never actually dreamed of getting kicked in the face, that’s never part of my dream. That’s like on the nightmare part, living a little nightmare, wake up every morning like, ‘Yup, that’s real, that just happened,’” said Holm.

“But I just want you guys to know I’m feeling good and I know one thing: I’m still pushing forward.”

A former world-champion boxer, Holm rocketed to stardom in her UFC career. She amassed a 10-0 record at the start, which included knocking out Ronda Rousey and handy the superstar her first loss in taking the UFC bantamweight championship from her.

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The going has been a little rough ever since. Not that Holm is getting shut out in hardly any of her fights, but she has gone 2-5 since that impressive start to her career. She has twice failed to capture the UFC featherweight title and has now lost in her opportunity to win the bantamweight belt back.

It’s certainly a bitter pill to swallow, but Holm, as is her nature, appears to be taking it all in stride, as she considers her next move.

“A lot of heartbreak right now, but I’m doing fine, I just want you guys to know I appreciate the love and support,” Holm said. “And if you would like to have free lip filler, just get kicked in the face.”

UPDATE: Via her manager, Lenny Fresquez, Holm expressed her emphatic desire to continue fighting.

“(Retirement is) absolutely out of the question. Big bold headline: Absolutely not retiring!” Fresquez told the Albuquerque Journal.

“In all seriousness, that (declaration) is what Holly wants. She’s so sick of hearing that (question).”


Dana White wants Holly Holm to consider her UFC future

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