UFC Fight Night time 206 headliner Holly Holm tranquil chasing gold after 19-month layoff

Holly Holm will return from the longest layoff of her prestigious strive against sports occupation when she meets Ketlen Vieira in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night time 206 most fundamental event.

That’s no longer a truly easy truth to digest for Holm (14-5 MMA, 7-5 UFC), who will compete for the first time since turning 40 with the girls’s bantamweight headliner vs. Vieira (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC), which takes save at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas and streams on ESPN+.

Holm, a frail UFC champion, hasn’t stepped foot within the cage since she set up on one of presumably the most total performances of her occupation with a pretty unanimous resolution decide over Irene Aldana at UFC on ESPN 16 in October 2020. Extra than 19 months with out movement since has no longer been by preference.

The discovery of a protracted-most up-to-date kidney mutter that required an operation, as successfully as knee surgical operation, has kept Holm on the sidelines. It’s been an agonizing experience for “The Preacher’s Daughter,” nonetheless that’s made her love the replacement to strive against again mighty extra.

“It feels unbiased appropriate to be in a save that I’m the truth is competing,” Holm told MMA Junkie and other newshounds at a UFC Fight Night time 206 pre-strive against info convention. “I’ve been working in the direction of. Even by the stuff I had going on, I’ve been working in the direction of. No longer to the save I could additionally the truth is scamper 100 percent and be pleased this purpose I’m shooting for. … It feels unbiased appropriate to get in there, and it additionally comes with the total nerves that approach with it. Which additionally makes me heed it’s staunch.

“I the truth is feel it. I’m living lifestyles. I care if I decide. I contemplate that’s one other thing. I contemplate these nerves unbiased remind me that I care.”

Holm has seen and accomplished all of it all by a extra than 20-year bustle in boxing and MMA. She’s been a world champion in each and every sports and reached the ideal of highs, nonetheless she acknowledged she’s tranquil motivated to devote her lifestyles to this craft. With her age and experience comes recordsdata, too, and Holm is aware of how crucial this strive against is to her total purpose of getting UFC gold again spherical her waist.

With Julianna Peña expected to rematch Amanda Nunes this summer for the 135-pound title, a decide could additionally set up Holm in prime save for a crack at the belt. She’s successfully attentive to that, nonetheless she acknowledged all of these grander narratives are swallowed up by her starvation to defeat Vieira this weekend.

“I even want to decide on regardless,” Holm acknowledged. “I detest to lose. I unbiased detest to lose, interval. It be no longer relevant what’s on the highway. Whether I’m in follow working in the direction of – I must decide the rounds when I’m in working in the direction of. If I’m in front of two other folks, if I’m in front of two million other folks, if I’m in front of the total world. I unbiased detest to lose. That’s No. 1. I must get in there and I must decide on Saturday.

“But as a ways as a occupation, whilst you happen to don’t decide your subsequent steps and your subsequent choices are never as many as you seize to be pleased and they’re extra restricted. You clutch a step again rather then a step forward. So sure, in due course, I could well like this decide so that I’m able to support progressing forward due to I must get to the belt.”

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