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Holly Holm: Facing Ronda Rousey sooner 'can be a lot better' than waiting four months

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Holly Holm spent about four hours working on the logistics of her training camp and travel schedule with her coaches, husband and manager two weeks ago. Holm's team was trying to figure out the best way to pace her toward a meeting with Ronda Rousey at UFC 195 on Jan. 3.

Not longer after, Holm got a call. The UFC wanted to move the women's bantamweight title fight to UFC 193 on Nov. 15 in Melbourne, Australia. All those plans had to be scrapped.

Holm wasn't so happy about that at first. And the fact that her family and friends from Albuquerque had already booked flights to Las Vegas for New Year's Eve weekend upset her. But "The Preacher's Daughter" is just not one to dwell much on the negative.

"In a lot of ways it might be better than having four months to let it wear me down," Holm told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "Once I know the fight, it's on my mind -- it doesn't matter if it's two months or four months. It's on my mind every day. In a lot of ways, it can be a lot better. I choose to look at it in the positive ways."

Holm (9-0) thought she had her camp all figured out. She would go to Chicago to train with her wrestling coach Israel Martinez in November when her main coaches, Mike Winkeljohn and Greg Jackson, were in Australia with Carlos Condit. Then Condit's opponent Robbie Lawler got injured and the UFC needed a new main event.

Rousey-Holm was the pick, because the event will take place at Etihad Stadium, which seats around 75,000. The UFC is planning on setting a new attendance record in its first trip to Melbourne, which just legalized pro cage fighting earlier this year. Rousey is the UFC's biggest mainstream star across the world.

At first, Holm was disappointed, because she said she would have had hundreds of family and friends coming in from Albuquerque, Texas and Colorado. Some of them had already made reservations and bought plane tickets. However, the more Holm thinks about it, the more she's somewhat glad, because there will be few distractions on the other side of the world.

"I'm kind of bummed, because I know they're bummed they really can't make it," Holm said. "But for me personally, I know it's weird and I hope I don't offend anybody, it is far enough away that I can kind of get in the zone and not have many distractions. They're all going to be watching on TV and supporting me."

The prevailing thought on Holm, 33, is that she could potentially be a legitimate challenger to Rousey, but not yet. Rousey is a -1450 favorite currently in online sports books. Many think Holm isn't ready for the challenge and would have benefited from one or two more UFC fights.

None of that really matters to her. Holm never painted herself into a corner with a timetable to get a title shot when she signed with the UFC last year.

"I feel like if you get so set on a certain plan and it doesn't go that way, then how are you gonna be prepared when the challenges and adversity face you?" Holm said. "I didn't think it was going to come this soon, but as soon as it did I was excited."

Rousey (12-0) is the most dominant champion in MMA right now. Holm, a former three-division boxing champion and two-time Ring magazine female boxer of the year, is not intimidated. She not be the most boisterous in front of the microphone, but Holm is confident she'll beat Rousey.

"That's my vision," Holm said. "If you don't have that vision you're not going to get in the gym and train for that goal. You never know what's gonna happen when you get in there.

"I really focus more on the act of fighting. But I do envision myself getting my hand raised, because that is the goal. I feel like you can never achieve anything if you don't see it. You have to believe in yourself. I do. That's my vision."

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