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Holly Holm explains why it was 'easy to be done with boxing'

Esther Lin

Holly Holm women's boxing most decorated competitors, a multi-time world champion.

But from here in on, she's a mixed martial artist through and through.

On a recent edition of The MMA Hour, Holm clarified that she's done with the Sweet Science for good, and not just because her UFC contract likely forbids competing in the sport.

Rather, after a dozen years as a pro, the Jackson's MMA fighter simply found her passion shift to something new.

"I really don't have any want to do it any more," Holm said. "I loved it when I did it. Everyone asked if I liked MMA more. I like it now. This is what I want to do more. It's not boxing, i did it for 12 years professionally. Obviously my love for boxing is there and was awesome but I love what it did for me and what I learned for it and will always appreciate it. But I don't have a desire to keep going with it."

For a time, Holm thought she'd be able to juggle both sports. But somewhere around the time she competed on a Bellator card in Rio Rancho, N.M., near Albuquerque, she came to the realization she was more excited for MMA than her original sport.

"The night of that [Bellator] fight I was in the locker room and my promoter came in and said ‘I have your next boxing match scheduled as well.' i was in the locker room after my fight with Bellator, and I thought, I wasn't excited about [boxing]. I was in the gym, my training, I wanted to kickbox and wrestle and about halfway through it, I told myself I would only box if I'm passionate about it, and I just don't feel it anymore. So I decided to listen to that and be done."

Holm finished her boxing career with a victory over Mary McGee in May 2013, then buckled down in MMA, scoring four finishes between July of last year and April. In that final victory, a fifth-round head kick finish of Julianna Werner, Holm suffered an arm fractured, which kept her on the sidelines the past several months.

"I would have liked it to heal in a week," Holm said. "It definitely took a long time, and I got really frustrated. I asked the doctor if I was healing slowly and he said no, this injury takes awhile to heal and you have to be patient with it. It's not like you have a little fracture and the bone fills in around the fracture. You have a complete break and the bones have to completely reconstruct together. ... It was good for me to focus on other things and worry about technique instead of exact game plans for a fight, get more tools for my tool box, and turn me a little bit more well round of and things I can turn to, instead of the things I always go to. I'd like to try things out of my comfort zone."

That sort of attitude helped Holm get in the right mental place as she prepares for her return, which just so happens to be her highest-profile fight: Her UFC debut against Raquel Pennington on Dec. 6.

"I think that's why it was easy for me to say goodbye to boxing, because I'm still fighting," Holm said. "That's why a lot of people who say ‘oh I retire, oh I'm back,' they miss it. You want that. I still have that. I still have that competition in front of me, so that's why its easy to be done with boxing. I haven't given up fighting. I love the kicks, I love the wrestling. I love the things I'm learning. I have a whole new drive."

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