Former UFC women's bantamweight champion Holly Holm has had her sights set on one thing: getting her title back from Miesha Tate, who took it from her by submission at UFC 196.
A rematch has been such a focus, that she reportedly turned down a chance to fight UFC newcomer Cris Cyborg, who fought at UFC 198 last weekend. According to Holm, the timing of the offer just wasn't right. For her, it was Tate or nothing. A dream that quickly went away after it was announced that Tate would fight Amanda Nunes at UFC 200. Now, Holm has become odd woman out with Tate fighting Nunes and Ronda Rousey temporarily MIA.
Just because Holm passed on a fight with Cyborg, doesn't mean it's out of the question. In fact, she recently spoke to 120 Sports and stated that she's not opposed to fighting the current Invicta FC featherweight champ at 140 pounds.
"I'm not even stuck on the 135 compared to 140, that's not really a big thing for me," said Holm. "They did call me for the fight, that is definitely true. I was so focused and I really wanted to see if I was going to get that rematch for the belt because that is where my passion was really facing. And that was around the time they asked me for the fight with Cyborg and I was holding out to see if I could get the rematch."
"To me, I am not against fighting Cyborg, it just didn't really seem like the right time. In boxing, I fought in three weight classes, so I am not opposed to fighting at 140," continued Holm. "I actually think Cyborg might make 135. Who knows? But that could be an option for the future. I am actually very happy for her victory. I really like Cyborg, I think she's a great gal."
With Holm turning down a fight with Cyborg, the Brazilian squared off with Leslie Smith, a confident striker in the UFC. It didn't take long for Cyborg to rack up her first UFC victory, taking out Smith quickly in the first round, defeating her in front of over 45,000 of Cyborg's hometown fans.
Now, it seems as if Cyborg has her sights on returning to Invicta to defend her title while Holm is slated to fight Valentina Shevchenko at UFC on FOX 20 in July. Although, anything can happen. Especially if Rousey decides to come back.
Cyborg has been very public about wanting to fight Rousey at UFC 205 in New York and it would make sense that Rousey would want a rematch with the woman who took her title.
Whatever occurs in the coming months, don't be surprised if a Holm-Cyborg match-up gets revisited somewhere down the line.