EXCLUSIVE | Mike Winkeljohn explains why Holly Holm isn’t fighting at UFC 235
At UFC 235, Holly Holm was expected to return to the bantamweight division to take on a rising undefeated prospect in Aspen Ladd. However, at the UFC 235 pre-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White announced that the fight was off.
That left many wondering if one of the fighters was hurt or if Holm was perhaps getting a title shot against Amanda Nunes. Ladd’s team didn’t know anything about it as they told BJPenn.com’s Cole Shelton the change was news to them, and they are “still figuring stuff out.”
Well, Holm’s coach in Mike Winkeljohn believes the fight is off because it will set up a fight between Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes for the belt.
“I’m not sure, they are negotiating some things,” Winkeljohn told BJPENN.com. “All I know is the fight was called off because they want her to fight Nunes in Brazil. They have been talking to the UFC about it. Holly is all in and she is ready to fight anyone and anywhere.”
Although her fight has been called off, Holm is still preparing as if she is fighting Ladd. They want her to be prepared in case the UFC rebooks the fight.
“We are still in training camp. We are acting like we are fighting Ladd at UFC 235. She’s back training,” Winkeljohn said. “We are training for both of them, but the Nunes fight will be down the road. Right now, our focus is on Ladd fight, as it is tough on everybody, it definitely is not fair to Aspen Ladd that this happened, but I promise you it has nothing to do with Holly. She is ready and waiting to fight.”
If Holm does indeed get the title shot against Nunes, most likely at UFC 237 in Curitiba, Brazil this May, it will no doubt be a tough fight for Holm. Nunes has shown her knockout ability in the past, and that is something Winkeljohn understands. However, he believes it will be a competitive fight.
“Nunes is fantastic. She is a scary fighter and Holly does her best when she gets the big test,” Winkeljohn said. “Nunes has done amazing so that will be one marketable fight and one great fight. It is also scary on both sides because Holly can do things Amanda hasn’t seen before but Holly has to worry about Amanda’s striking. She can hit hard and is very explosive, she is also an extremely intelligent fighter.”
Holly Holm is back in the gym waiting for a contract, but if all goes to plan a fight against Nunes will happen soon.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/11/2019.
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