Holly Holm was breifly the best women's fighter on Earth after defeating Ronda Rousey in mortal combat.
After winning the UFC Bantamweight title, Holm suffered tough losses to Miesha Tate and Valentina Shevchenko. This isn't so bad, considering Tate immediately lost the title to Amanda Nunes after winning it from Holm. With a game of "hot potato" being played with the title, and Ronda Rousey's ever-rumored return, the division is up in the air right now. So, who is Holm to fight next?
Here are five options for Holly Holm's next fight in the UFC.
5. Bethe Correia
Bethe Correia is always the wild card.
Coming off her first win since losing to Ronda Rousey at UFC 190, Correia actually expressed interest in fighting Cyborg. However, if Holm needs a pick-me-up fight in the UFC, Correia may actually be the perfect choice. She always makes a fight interesting, that's for sure, and it's always an encouraging confidence-builder to get a win after coming off some losses.
Of course, there is a chance Correia could upset Holm, and that would be the fun part of this great match-up.
4. Cat Zingano
Both Holm and Cat Zingano are coming off back-to-back losses. I'm sure she would throw her hat in for a chance to fight Holly.
It would give both women a chance to get right back into the mix. Despite Zingano's recent losses, she also has TKO victories over both Miesha Tate and current champion, Amanda Nunes. As of four days ago, it looks like Zingano is already in negotiations for a fight, as well.
No word, as of yet, on Zingano's possible opponent, but a fight with Holm, or even Cyborg, isn't out of the question.
3. Julianna Pena
After beating Zingano at UFC 200, Julianna Pena is on a four-fight win streak and undefeated in the UFC.
It's no secret that she wants the title shot or a fight with Ronda Rousey. Judging by how booking has been going, and how the UFC are waiting to see how the Rousey enigma unfolds, Pena could always fight Holly Holm in the meantime. On paper, Pena has surely done enough to warrant a title shot, but a win over Holm would make it undeniable. Same goes for Holm, if she beats Pena, she skips the line.
It would also be one helluva fight.
2. Ronda Rousey
Title or no title, this fight would be huge and that's why it would be made.
The Ronda Rousey redemption story of coming back and potentially beating the only woman to defeat her is money in the bank. Holm has hit a couple of speed bumps in the UFC since the biggest win of her career, but if she dominates Rousey in a return fight, then she catapults herself right back into the stratosphere.
A win over Rousey is a coupon for an immediate title shot.
1. Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino
Arguably the best female fighter in the world is in MMA limbo right now.
She has held two titles in the featherweight division, a division that currently does not exist in the UFC, and is stuck doing catchweight fights at 140 lbs. Is this to keep her as close as they can to bantamweight in case Rousey returns for the superfight that never was? Either way, fighting Cyborg in her first return fight doesn't seem likely. What is more likely, is a fight between Cyborg and Holm.
Bantamweight has always been a tough cut for the larger Holm, so there is a chance she could look rejuvenated at a higher weight, and may create more interest in adding the new weight class. A huge fight that draws numbers could be all the UFC needs to create the featherweight division. Not only that, but Holm has the type of credentials that actually make it possible for her to win a fight against Cyborg.
With a victory like that, Holm could write her own check for whichever fight she wanted as the new top women's fighter on the planet Earth.
Who should Holly Holm fight next in the UFC?
poll image courtesy of Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports