ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As Holly Holm prepares to try and cement her legacy in women’s combat sports history, her father Roger remembers a moment he shared with his daughter about fame.
“In her senior year of high school we were sitting at one of the grills in Albuquerque and I looked across the table and said, ‘Holly I have a feeling you are going to be pretty well known one of these days,'” said Roger. “She said, ‘You know, I feel the same way Dad.'”
Saturday night in Las Vegas, Holm will face the intimidating and highly favored UFC Featherweight champion Cris Cyborg. It’s a place Holm has been before when she shocked the MMA world by knocking out then bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.
“You know you made it through the first time so you know that’s definitely helpful,” said Holm. “It’s still it’s own journey and it’s still it’s own fight.”
Cyborg has dominated opponents in the past, making many afraid to fight her. Holm is not scared and no one knows better than her father Roger.
“Holly goes in there and knows what she’s up against. That’s her choice,” said Roger. “She’s not afraid to face it. She’s been living this dream for a long time and she just has that courage in her.”
Even as a little girl surrounded by brothers, Holm showed signs of the fearlessness she would need to make it in the world of combat sports.
“Early on, just her ability in gymnastics alone, she kind of excelled at that at a young age and then she wanted to get into the physicality from my older brother and I wrestling. Then we knew she liked to do something more than just flips and stuff.”
If Holm can secure her second UFC title over an opponent like Cyborg, she can take her place as one of the greatest female competitors in combat sports.
“She’s still my baby,” said Roger. “I don’t quite see her like that, you know. Sometimes I think of the magnitude of it and I get humbled. But, I know how hard she’s worked to get to that place. It wasn’t something that was just given to her.”