Holly Holm says Conor McGregor proves that if you believe in yourself, you’ll perform well.
Speaking to Hot 97′s Peter Rosenberg about life since defeating Ronda Rousey and the build up to UFC 208, the 35-year-old spoke highly of the Irishman.
“He believes he’s something special, and he comes out and he doesn’t just talk the talk, he really believes it. And it also shows how powerful the mind is.”
Asked by Rosenberg how good McGregor actually is, from a fighter’s perspective, Holm said: “I think he’s great… a lot of people are like ‘well, he’s never gone the distance’ or ‘well, he’s never been with a wrestler’, or ‘well, he’s never been with this person who hits this hard’.
“He’s been put in some bad spots and we’ve seen his vulnerabilities but I think that you have to have ability to be able to actually succeed in a lot of these things. It is mostly mental, if you believe in yourself you’re going to perform well.
“He does believe in himself, he does believe that he’s capable and that is one of the biggest parts to his game – but, if he didn’t have any skill to back it up he wouldn’t be just making it off his mouth.”
Holm is hoping to become the UFC’s first women’s featherweight champion in February at UFC 208, in what’s a big fight for more than just that reason. If all goes well we could get Rousey v Holm II in 2017.
The 35-year-old has lost her two previous fights since defeating Rousey and becoming the bantamweight champion (for a short time) – the first time she’s ever lost two in a row – but says the risk of losing a third makes the potential reward even bigger.
And despite the recent defeats to Miesha Tate and Valentina Shevchenko Holm dreams of holding both titles at the same time in the future.
A victory at UFC 208, where she’ll fight Germaine De Randamie two months after Rousey makes her comeback, will go a long way to helping her achieve that.