Holly Holm: Albuquerque 'supportive' in road to championship

AP News
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Posted: Nov 20, 2015 3:58 PM
Holly Holm: Albuquerque 'supportive' in road to championship

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — As the city of Albuquerque plans a "homecoming celebration" for new UFC women's bantamweight champion Holly Holm, the New Mexico native said Friday that her hometown played a role in her road to capturing the belt from undefeated Ronda Rousey.

Holm told CBS sports talk show host Jim Rome on Friday that the city was behind her during her career as a former No. 1-ranked boxer, and later a kickboxer and mix-martial arts fighter.

"Albuquerque is such a supportive town...I love (bringing) this belt back to my town," Holm said.

Last week, Holm (10-0) pulled off a stunning win over Rousey (12-1) in UFC 193, knocking out the women's bantamweight champion in the second round with a powerful kick to the head in Australia.

Before the fight, Rousey blasted Holm on social media with derogatory language following a shoving spat at a pre-fight event and said she was "really going to enjoy the beating" she'd give Holm.

Holm's victory shocked the MMA world but sparked celebrations around Albuquerque in sports bars and private viewing parties. Holm trains at the Albuquerque-based Jackson Wink MMA Academy gym and is known in town as "The Preacher's Daughter."

Following the fight, Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry said the city would plan a celebration to honor Holm. Albuquerque city councilors then declared November "Holly Holm Month."

She even won praise from New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez who Holm said showed "the world what it means to be New Mexico True," referencing the state's tourism slogan.

Holm said, if the UFC schedules a rematch with Rousey, she would "train twice as hard to be as dominant" to defeat the fighter once more.

"The fight we had is already in the past," Holm said.

Rousey said after the fight that she would take time off and promised to return. The former champ did not give any details about her health.

"I can see her coming back," Holm said. "And coming back with a vengeance."

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This story has been corrected to change word in Holm quote to "dominant," instead of "dominate."

Follow Russell Contreras on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras . His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/russell-contreras .