Holly Holm has already shocked the sports world with one upset victory over a seemingly unbeatable mixed martial arts champion.
She sees no reason she couldn’t do it again when she faces Cris “Cyborg” Justino in the main event of UFC 219 on Saturday night.
Just over two years after Holm (11-3) won the UFC bantamweight title with a jaw-dropping stoppage of Ronda Rousey, Holm is a big underdog when she steps into the T-Mobile Arena cage in Las Vegas to take her shot at Justino (18-1) for the featherweight belt.
Justino seems unbeatable. The Brazilian hasn’t lost since her MMA debut in 2005, and she has honed a physical, pounding style that no fighters have solved – or even survived to the bell in any fight since 2008.
But Rousey seemed equally unbeatable when she entered the cage with Holm in Australia – and the whole world saw what happened when Holm kicked Rousey in the head.
“I think there are similarities with the feeling of it,” said Holm, who also had her share of impressive wins as a professional boxer before entering MMA. “I think that because I’ve done it more than once now, in boxing and (more prominently) with Ronda, to be the underdog and come in, I think that people think, `Oh, OK, well, Holly is capable of doing some things.’ But I feel like there’s more of a curiosity behind it. Not necessarily just thinking I can’t do it, but kind of, `Hmm, I wonder if she’s going to do it this time.”