ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – UFC Bantamweight Champion Holly Holm is now five days away from her next UFC bout, as she plans to take on Irene Aldana on Fight Island on Saturday as the main event of UFC on ESPN 16.
“I just feel like, man I’m not going to have them go all the way over there with a loss, like its just not even an option. You know, I got to go over there and I got to win,” said Holm. Holm and her team have traveled over 8,000 miles to Abu Dhabi, to fight Irene Aldana.
Holm is looking to improve her 13-5 professional record on Saturday and also garner a second straight victory. She does have a tough test ahead of her though, as Aldana is riding a two-fight winning streak and comes in taller than Holm. Aldana will most likely look to take this fight to the ground, but Holm is ready for anything and hopes to show how well rounded her skills have become.
“You know, there’s the clinch; there’s the ground; there’s the stand-up; there’s all of it and I feel like I have learned so much and I feel comfortable in each one, but what I want to do is really execute everything as a whole. To where it just all comes together, and that’s what I want to do in this fight,” said Holm.
Holm versus Aldana will be the main event of this fight card which will be shown on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Now to soccer, New Mexico United is gearing up for a potential regular season-ending match on Wednesday. New Mexico United did have to postpone their game with RGV Toros last week, so there is a possibility that they could make up that match after their match on Wednesday against Real Monarchs SLC.
“We would only play that game if it made a significant difference in deciding our group, which it could. That said, we don’t want to be in a position where we’re playing a Tuesday or a Wednesday match, going into a Saturday playoff match, I mean that doesn’t make any sense for us either. So, at this point I think we are focused on playing 15 matches, you know, and assuming that we will probably not play in that 16th match,” said the team’s Head Coach Troy Lesesne.
New Mexico United is solely focused on Real Monarchs on Wednesday though, as they currently sit four points behind El Paso in the USL Group-C Standings. A win is crucial for this team on Wednesday night and so is building momentum heading into the playoffs.
“I know the expectations from [sic] the players is [sic] high; the expectations from the staff is [sic] high, and the community. So, hopefully, we have a lot more futbol to play,” said New Mexico United forward Devon Sandoval.
“This is a club now, where we built a culture where playoffs are the bare minimum. We have succeeded in that and again we have an important game on Wednesday to keep the pressure on El Paso because it’s not over yet. We want to get some momentum going into the playoffs,” said goalkeeper Cody Mizell.
That matchup will be on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN+. The team is also hosting a “Drive-In Showing” of the game in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Credit also has to be given to Sandoval, as he reached a career milestone over the weekend. Sandoval has now made 200 career professional appearances and Coach Lesesne couldn’t be more proud.
“I can’t really describe what an achievement that is for his career. He hates this, by the way, you can see his face right now, but you can honestly see the impact that he has made in our community and our club wouldn’t be the same. I just feel that he deserves the proper recognition,” said Lesesne.
Now to the high school ranks, the official start date for fall sports (Golf, Cross Country, and Volleyball) is now one week away. Official practices will start on October 5 and New Mexico Athletics Association Executive Director, Sally Marquez said in her weekly Q&A on Monday that games will soon follow.
“We have a rule of five days of practice. So, our schedule is going to be October 10, that Saturday you will see games. This year, since we have a smaller window to play, we are not going to have the scrimmages or those long preseason practice times. So, games will begin right away,” said Marquez.
Coaches, players and officials will need to wear masks this year and as for other sports that will not be competing in the fall. They will remain in the 9 to 1 training pods moving forward.