World boxing champion Holly Holm will leave the squared circle for MMA later this year. The news was announced during a media luncheon in New Mexico on Tuesday.
Holm, who is ranked No. 1 in the sport, holds a 32-2-3 record in boxing. She has gone 3-0 in her brief MMA career.
“Since I first started fighting, it became my passion. I decided a long time ago, after quitting school to fight, that I would box as long as my heart was in it. One of my biggest and controversial fights was against Christy Martin. Then, it was Mary Jo Sanders. There’s always a champion. This is my own journey. Every one of my fights have helped me to believe in myself,” Holm said. “When we were deciding which way to go with my future, my trainer, Mike Winkeljohn, said it best, ‘You want to climb a new mountain.’ This thing has created a new spark in me and I’m following my heart. I wish much success to Cecilia (Braekhus) but not fighting her does not, by any means, define my boxing career. I know there’s a lot of talk about that but what does that say about all the women I’ve already fought? I’ve never been a paper champion. I’ve grown so much every step of the way. I’m in this fight, on May 11,100 percent; I’m not distracted. This is obviously an emotional, spiritual and physical journey and I’m so grateful for the people who have supported me. I just want to fight where my passion is (MMA). I train in an MMA gym and always have.”
Currently, the 31-year-old trains with Greg Jackson at his gym in Albuquerque. Her last boxing match is set for May 11 for her IBA and WBF junior welterweight titles against Mary McGee.