A signed contract held up by UFC President Dana White signals the start of Holly Holm‘s octagon career.
White today announced the popular fighter’s signing via Twitter, concluding several months of negotiations that started in earnest and then took a negative turn before cooler heads prevailed.
“Welcome to the UFC, @_HOLLYHOLM,” the executive wrote.
Holm’s manager, Lenny Fresquez, said the striking specialist will next Tuesday see a doctor for a final prognosis on when she can make her debut. Her previous outing, which came this past April against Juliana Werner at Legacy FC 30, ended in another TKO victory and a bantamweight title, but also with a broken arm, which she suffered early in the bout before finishing her opponent.
Fresquez estimates Holm will make her UFC debut in late October or November, but declined to say whom she would first fight in the octagon. He did, however, say a title shot is not in her immediate future.
“She’s going to build up,” he said. “We need to prove ourselves in the UFC; we need to prove ourselves with a couple of fights. Whoever the UFC puts in front of us, we’ll knock ‘em down.”
Holm (7-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC), 32, brings an undefeated 7-0 record and a considerable amount of attention as an ex-champion boxer and popular draw in her native Albuquerque, N.M. She trains out of the famed Jackson-Winkeljohn’s MMA and has been seen trading punches and kicks with UFC champ Jon Jones.
Fresquez met with UFC executives following UFC 171 in March and said the experience was “positive” despite the two sides being far apart on compensation for Holm in the event of a title shot against UFC champ Ronda Rousey.
White reacted angrily to Fresqeuz’s characterization and said the UFC was no longer interested in Holm, but later reconsidered and came back to the negotiating table. Late this past month, White said the promotion was nearing a deal with the fighter despite stalled negotiations with retired MMA star Gina Carano.
Now, Holm is a bonafide member of the UFC’s bantamweight class, which is currently lacking a No. 1 contender following Rousey’s decimation of Alexis Davis at this past Saturday’s UFC 175.
While Holm might not be ready-made as a contender, Fresquez said the fighter will deliver as soon as she’s healthy.
“We’re very satisfied with what we negotiated, and right now, we just have to perform in the UFC,” he said.
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