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Holly Holm squashes retirement talk: ‘I still want to fight’

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With a resume that includes world titles in boxing and mixed martial arts, but a recent record of 1-4, Holly Holm knows that retirement talking is slowly pushing to the forefront.

But the former UFC bantamweight champion is having none of that chatter.

“People ask me, ‘you had four out of five losses, four out of five fights are losses and you’re 36 and are you going to return,” Holm said on a recent edition of The MMA Hour. “And I was like, it’s, ‘I still want to fight, that’s the bottom line.’”

Holm has a point. If you dig beneath the surface of those four losses, you’ll find this isn’t like a traditional case of a fighter who is getting blown out of their fights. Holm was winning her UFC 196 title defense against Miesha Tate before she got caught in a fifth-round submission. Many believe she actually won her close fight against Germaine de Randamie, one in de Randamie was not penalized for multiple blatant fouls.

The most recent loss, of course, was against the Cris Cyborg. In that bout, Holm went up in weight and took on a competitor who hasn’t lost a fight since 2005, and went a full 25 minutes.

So one can understand why Holm would bristle at being asked about retirement.

“Why wouldn’t I want to return when I just gave her the toughest fight in weight class that is a heavier weight class from where I usually fight against the biggest person?” Holm asked. “I was the one who gave her her toughest fight so I don’t really understand the retirement, you know, people think should you retire maybe it’s just because of the way that, you know how those four fights have gone.”

Holm made an interesting comparison to parents who choose to have large families, saying it’s no one else’s business how one chooses to conduct their lives.

“I remember my sister in law, [with] three kids, sometimes people are like ‘that’s a lot of kids,’” Holm said. “And it’s like, yeah, if that’s what they want to do with their lives, what’s wrong with that? Because she had three kids in a row. All her kids are going to be buddies and be able to grow up together and be friends together but a lot of people are like ‘wow.’ My mom, it was the same thing with me: ‘You’re having another kid already? Why do you want to do that? Why are you asking someone that if they’re already pregnant and have their baby on the way. I’m still fighting and that’s what I want to do. I think it’s weird there are so many people out there look at people’s lives in that way.”

Holm hasn’t decided when her next fight will take place, nor whether it will be at 145 or 135. But there will be a next fight.

“I know I’m still competitive, have a lot of capabilities if I want to do it. I definitely don’t have the, obviously every year gets a little bit more, maybe I can kind of coming closer. I’m 36, I’ll be 37 next year, I still feel like I’m strong and in competitive shape. I don’t feel 36. I feel competitive and I feel strong feel and I feel can really do well, so I’m keep going to keep going with it.”