After a very respectful and normal build up to the fight, Ronda Rousey exploded at Holly Holm on Friday at weigh-ins.
Rousey stormed over to Holm after weighing in, having to be stopped momentarily by UFC president Dana White. The two faced off with Rousey getting right in Holm's face. Holm placed her right fist near Rousey's jaw, causing Rousey to freak out and yank her arm. White separated the two women before it came to blows.
When Rousey got on the microphone to talk to Joe Rogan, she cursed toward Holm and said she could see through her" fake sweet act." Later, Rousey doubled down with an Instagram post calling Holm a "fake humility bitch."
Holm laughed it off at the time and didn't take any of it to heart. Though she did admit in an ESPN Radio interview Monday that it felt good to punch Rousey in the face -- in the sporting sense, not in the causing pain sense. Holm did plenty of it in the main event of UFC 193 on Saturday night in Melbourne, teeing off with left hands against Rousey and finishing with a second-round head kick. Holm is the new UFC women's bantamweight champion in rather shocking fashion.
"I guess that is satisfying," Holm said of landing punches to Rousey's face. "I'm not going to say I don't love to punch people in the face. But that's just part of the sport. Every time I land a punch, it's satisfying because I know I just scored. I know I'm on top. It's like a chess match, I know that I landed a good one. It's not like, 'Oh I hurt someone.' It's like an instant gratification of a bit of an accomplishment. It's hard to explain."
Holm's steely demeanor and poise went a long way toward her beating Rousey. The weigh-in skirmish didn't shake her. It meant pretty much nothing to her at all.
"I don't take it personally," Holm said. "There's a lot of emotions involved in a fight and if anybody has ever been in there, they know that. There's a lot of emotions, it's tense. People get worked up. Some people do it so they can kind of get up for the fight. But for me, I don't take anything personal. I just want to get in there and win."
It was a very emotional training camp for Holm. She said she cried multiple times, for various reasons. One of them was just how much her coaches and team wanted her to win, which she described as an "overwhelming" feeling.
"I cried so much," Holm said. "It wasn't always good or bad. It was both. Some days, I just wouldn't perform very well in practice and I would get very frustrated and I would cry and I would tell my coaches, if I perform like that, that is not gonna get me the victory. So I'd go back later that night and train more. Then there would be days that I would do so great and everything would go great and I would just feel it. I would sense victory. I could taste it. Then I would just get so happy I would cry. It was a little bit of both."
Holm said the plan when she moved over from boxing, where she was a three-division champion, was to achieve the highest level in MMA as well. She's just surprised that it happened this quickly. Not that the Albuquerque native is resting on her laurels. Holm knows there is a rematch looming with Rousey and she's embracing it.
"If she wants a rematch and they put it together, I think that that's always -- you always gotta give the rematch," Holm said. "That's just the way it goes.
"If you're a real champion, you're gonna do that. You're gonna give them the rematch. Of course I'm gonna train even harder and better for the next fight, because I know she'll come back swinging."