On Dec. 2, 2011, Holly Holm was knocked out by Anne Sophie Mathis in an IBA welterweight championship fight. A half year later, Holm rushed into a rematch as an underdog, and got the win back, despite many doubters.
Holm has yet to lose again, in either boxing or MMA, since that late 2011 KO defeat. In more ways than one, Holm refuses to look back when faced with adversity, choosing instead to forge ahead with confidence.
Still, she draws on that and other underdog experiences for strength heading into her Nov. 14 UFC bantamweight championship fight against Ronda Rousey in Melbourne. Few pundits are giving the striker much of a chance against the reigning champion, but she doesn't seem to much mind.
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"I've been the underdog more than once and that is fine with me," Holm told reporters Friday.
"I think the last time I really felt I was coming in as an underdog was a couple of years ago . . . I had been knocked out cold by the French champion Anne Sophie Mathis and 21 out of her 24 wins were by KO.
"I believed I could beat her, and people thought I was crazy for doing that but I avenged my loss."
Being doubted only makes the eventual victories that much more worth savoring for the Albuquerque fighter. She has her share of challenges in front of her with the world doubting her, heading into the Rousey fight.
So, Holm must really be looking forward to the moments after the fight, when she believes she'll be able to tell all of us that she told us so. "Those are the victories that are even better," she said.
"When you go through more in the lead up, and those are the challenges I love."