Holly Rene Holm-Kirkpatrick is an American mixed martial artist as well as a former professional boxer and kickboxer. She is a former multiple-time world boxing champion as well, who defended her title for a total of eighteen times, in three weight classes. Described as one of the greatest athletes in the field of combat sports, Holm was born in Albuquerque, in New Mexico, in the US. As a child, she used to play sports such as soccer and also took part in gymnastics, swimming, and diving. Holm won her first championship at the age of 20 at the International Rules Adult Women’s Welterweight Division at the International Kickboxing Federation. Soon she began her boxing career, which progressed quite brilliantly. She was named Ring Magazine’s female fighter of the year twice. After a successful career in boxing, she began her career in Mixed Martial Arts, and signed in with the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). A year later, she won the Women’s Bantamweight Championship, after defeating Ronda Rousey. Thus, she became the first person to win championships in both boxing and MMA. Other than sports, Holly Holm has also acted in a recent action film ‘Fight Valley’, which was directed by Rob Hawk.
Childhood & Early Life
Holly Rene Holm-Kirkpatrick was born as Holly Rene Holm, on 17th October 1981, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the United States, to Roger, who was a preacher for a Christian movement named ‘Church of Christ’, and his wife Tammy, a massage therapist. It was because of her father’s profession that Holly received her nickname ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’. Holly is the youngest of the three children in her family and has two older brothers, Brian and Weston Holm.
She grew up near Bosque Farms, and she not only used to play soccer, but also participated in gymnastics, swimming, and diving. She completed her graduation from Manzono High School in 2000, after which she attended the University of New Mexico. However, she studied there only for a year.
She used to take Aerobics classes from the age of sixteen. Her instructor saw her potential as a fighter and soon he began training her.
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Holly Holm achieved her first victory in September 2001, after winning the International Rules Adult Women’s Welterweight Division at the International Kickboxing Federation, held in Kansas City, Missouri.
She made her boxing debut in January 2002, and after five months, she also made her debut in kickboxing. Her boxing records include an astounding total of 33 wins with only 2 losses and 3 draws. In her boxing career, she won both the WBF Female World Light Welterweight, as well as the World Welterweight Titles. Holm is also an 18-time world champion across three world classes.
She made her debut in Mixed Martial Arts in March 2011. In December 2011, she fought French boxer Anne Sophie Mathis in pursuit of the vacant IBF female and WBAN welterweight titles. Holm suffered a terrible defeat. However, they had a rematch in June, the following year, where Holm managed to beat Mathis and emerge as the new champion.
In 2013, she took part in the Legacy Championship 21, where she faced Allana Jones. The fight resulted in a victory for Holm. She later faced Nikki Knudsen and Angela Hayes. Holm fought brilliantly and defeated both of them. She won her next fight against Juliana Werner, as well, though she broke her left arm in the first round of the bout.
She signed a deal with the UFC in 2014. Though her first match was scheduled against Raquel Pennington, Holm pulled out because of an undisclosed injury. Later, she fought Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey in November 2015. Though the latter put up a tough fight, Holm beat her and put an end to Rousey’s three-year reign as champion. Holly lost the title to Miesha Tate in March the following year.
In 2017, she fought Germaine de Randamie for the Women’s Featherweight Championship. Holm however lost the fight, after which she made an appeal to the New York State Athletic Commission to review the decisions made by the referee. However, her appeal was denied as they found no violation of any statute or rule.
Holly Holm played a significant role in the 2016 action film ‘Fight Valley’. Directed and written by Rob Hawk, the film also starred Susie Celek, Miesha Tate, Cris Cyborg and Amanda Serrano. The film was released on 22nd July 2016. It was met with mixed reviews from critics.
Awards & Achievements
Holly Holm is the first combatant to have won world titles in both boxing as well as MMA.
Her achievements include winning the UFC Bantamweight Champion, the GBU World Welterweight Championship, the WIBA World Light Welterweight Championship, the IBA Female World Welterweight Championship three times, and Legacy FC Women's Bantamweight Championship.
Holly Holm has been married to Jeff Kirkpatrick since 2012.
She is a devout Christian and is often seen carrying the Bible around.