Miesha Tate’s decision to return to MMA after the four years she spent in retirement caught the eye of many of her UFC peers – especially former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm.
Holm lost her title just one fight removed from her spectacular knockout victory over the then seemingly-unbeatable Ronda Rousey.
Tate was the woman who snatched Holm’s belt from her grasp at UFC 196 in March, 2016, courtesy of a dramatic fifth-round rear-naked choke submission in a come-from-behind win.
Holm won’t be the competitor welcoming Tate back to the fold. Instead, “Cupcake” will be taking on Marion Reneau on 17 July upon her return.
But Tate is on Holm’s radar as she bids to climb back up the rankings to become a two-time UFC champion. As long as the Tate rematch helps Holm’s in her ambitions to lift gold in the promotion for a second time, then the Jackson-Wink product is game to avenge her defeat.
“My plan is to compete for the belt, so if that fight ends up being on the way there, then absolutely,” Holm said in an ESPN+ Q&A hosted by Laura Sanko. [H/T MMA Junkie] “I always like to avenge losses no matter what, so yes, I would like to do that, but I think sometimes you can get so fixated on one fight that you’re not focused on whatever is coming your way.”
Holm was due to fight Julianna Pena on 8 May, but was forced to withdraw from that bout due to a medical condition. Pena has made plenty of noise recently and has called out champion Amanda Nunes. Should Pena get that chance without a replacement opponent sourced, it will be seen as an opportunity missed by 39-year-old Holm.
If a rematch with Tate is the route Holm has to take to getting her chance at a second bout with Nunes, then so be it.
“Whatever gets you to the belt, that’s my ultimate goal and it would be awesome if I could go through and do it all,” Holm said. “Avenge my loss [to Tate], then go to the belt.”
Nunes and Holm fought at UFC 239 in July, 2019. Holm came away on the losing side of that bout, enduring a first-round knockout defeat.
However, the former world boxing champion regrouped from that loss to Nunes with two consecutive unanimous decision victories over former title challenger Raquel Pennington and Irene Aldana.