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Holly Holm still hoping to fight before UFC 200: July is 'a really long time from now'

Holly Holm wants to fight as soon as possible. The UFC is hoping to save her for a big money rematch with Ronda Rousey in July.

Holm beat Rousey by second-round knockout at UFC 193 in November, stunning the sports world. The former three-division boxing champion is interested in a fairly quick turnaround to fight someone like top contender Miesha Tate while Rousey gets primed for a likely return at UFC 200 on July 9.

Holm said she is not used to long layoffs in between fights, averaging close to four matches per year when she was a boxer.

"Eight months between fights is a long time," Holm said at a media event before UFC 194 in Las Vegas. "Maybe not for some, but in boxing I used to fight four times a year for title fights. I was very active. This year is three fights in a year. I still feel like it's active. To go eight months without one, we're not even averaging two a year at that rate. So it's kind of like, man that's a really long time from now."

That said, Holm doesn't want to belabor the issue.

"I'll embrace it if that's the next fight," Holm said of a Rousey rematch. "If I get a fight before then, then that's great. I like to go with the flow. I don't want to force anything. I don't like anything to feel like it's having to push. I want to feel like it's flowing. I like to kind of go with it. Ride the wave, I guess you'd say."

Holm's manager Lenny Fresquez told the Los Angeles Times last week that Holm's team is hoping for a fight sooner than July in case Rousey can't go on that date.

"I'm not sure Ronda will be ready for a July fight," Fresquez said. "She took a severe beating and I don't think it's in her best interest to take the next fight so fast. They told me she's been ready and cleared, but ... .

"Holly's used to staying active. We're from the old school and we believe the No. 1 contender is there for a reason. ... [Tate] deserves a shot, but it's not for me to decide."

UFC president Dana White maintained to the LA Times that Rousey was "next" for Holm and the fight is targeted for UFC 200. And it's hard to blame the UFC for wanting to preserve what is the biggest rematch -- and maybe biggest overall fight -- in the promotion's history. UFC 193 reportedly drew more than 1 million pay-per-view buys and the rematch should garner even more.

Holm, though, is most comfortable staying active. With 38 fights in 11 years of boxing, she averaged nearly 3 ½ bouts per year. Most UFC champions only fight two per year. Rousey fought three times in 2015 -- in February, August and November. Rousey-Holm was originally scheduled for January, however.

"I'll keep training hard," Holm said. "I still want to go to the gym. I don't have to have a fight in front of me to be motivated to train. I want to train. But it's a lot more exciting to train when you have a fight coming and we're in this sport because we love to fight. When you don't have a fight for a while, it kind of takes away what you're shooting for. But whatever comes is whatever I'm gonna deal with."

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