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Brian Stann says Holly Holm is 'every bit of a role model you want'

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Not many people picked Holly Holm to defeat Ronda Rousey at UFC 193. That 'many', it turns out, includes many people who know the fight game in and out.

So, did UFC veteran and current Fox Sports commentator Brian Stann - who knew Holm from his own days of training at Jackson's MMA - pick Holm to win?

"To my everlasting shame, no," he confessed on Monday's The MMA Hour.

"And honest to God, I felt guilty that I didn't. But the thing is - and I've had this come up with a lot of fighters; I'll get this sometimes on social media and from fans for this - when you are an analyst, at least in my eyes, you have to evaluate film and you have to go based on what you've seen to make your predictions and base your judgment.

"When I analyzed the tape," Stann continued, "I certainly felt - and I said this in my interviews and breakdowns - there is definitely a way she can win. And if there is a person who could catch Ronda and defeat her if she's not focused, it was Holly. So, I definitely saw her being able to win a fight that I thought would potentially go the distance. I did not see her winning the fight in that manner."

Stann admitted to a strong degree of shame related to his inability to give Holm the pre-fight credit she deserved. However, what he wouldn't admit was his immediate recognition of Holm's character.

Stann - a widely-regarded figure of admiration within the mixed martial arts community himself - said while he may not have made the right call ahead of the Rousey vs. Holm bout, he always knew something else about Holm and made not of it from the moment she began her UFC run.

"Part of me feels guilty because I do think so highly of her, because I do have a relationship with her, but it makes it all the more special," Stann noted. "I remember when I said on UFC Tonight and I got made fun a lot by some of the people there and even people online, but I said when they talked about her coming to the UFC, 'If there is a woman I've met I want my daughters to be like, it's Holly.'

"She has a lot of qualities," Stann explained. "I already told my daughters about the fight. She is absolutely every bit a role model you want, not just for women, but for any person. I truly mean that."