MMA: Holly Holm aiming for victory in UFC fight in Singapore

Holly Holm (top) strikes defending champion Ronda Rousey in winning their women's bantamweight bout in Melbourne in November 2015. Her three subsequent losses have created the determination to "constantly be improving" as she prepares to face Bethe C
Holly Holm (top) strikes defending champion Ronda Rousey in winning their women's bantamweight bout in Melbourne in November 2015. Her three subsequent losses have created the determination to "constantly be improving" as she prepares to face Bethe Correia at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on June 17.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Despite three straight losses, MMA fighter confident she will be able to defeat Correia

Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Holly Holm is looking to recapture the form that enabled her to dethrone Ronda Rousey - and the 35-year-old is confident her winning ways will return ahead of June 17's UFC Fight Night Singapore.

Her stunning defeat of fellow American Rousey by knockout in 2015 halted the MMA superstar's unbeaten streak and ended her three-year reign as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight champion.

Since then, however, the New Mexico native has suffered three straight defeats. She failed to retain her title last March, losing to Miesha Tate. Four months later, she fell to Valentina Shevchenko. In February, Holm then posted a loss to Germaine de Randamie.

Holm, a former boxer, will headline the UFC Fight Night Singapore against Brazil's Bethe Correia at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, and she is confident she has learnt from her previous losses.

Speaking to Singapore media from her training camp in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Holm said: "I lost my last three fights and everything I need to learn from those fights (will make) me better.

TAKING A DIFFERENT APPROACH

I want to win, I hate to lose. It's got to the point where it's in my head and I'm not giving myself the option to lose.

HOLLY HOLM, explaining the value of mental toughness.

"I guess I still mentally feel I can beat these girls, it's not like I got dominated in my last three fights.

"I want to win, I hate to lose. It's got to the point where it's in my head and I'm not giving myself the option to lose."

Holm also revealed that it will be a "new Holly" who enters the cage come June, adding: "There are things we've been working on that I haven't been performing well in - I know I was getting countered in my past fights a couple of times and there was really no big secret.

"I don't want to do the same thing as before. I want to fix those problems.

"As a fighter, I want to constantly be improving."

Holm, who made her professional MMA debut in 2011 and took the decision to become a full-time fighter in 2013, lost her last two fights via unanimous decisions.

While she admitted the most recent loss to de Randamie stung, she said: "A lot of people felt I won the fight, but it's still a loss on my record and not a victory.

"I don't want to dwell on it... we're here now."

Holm began her MMA career by winning 10 straight fights with seven knockouts, with the last win over Rousey being the one that propelled her to MMA fame.

Rousey returned to action in December, but lost to Amanda Nunes by a technical knockout.

Asked if she thought she had ended Rousey's career, Holm paused before saying: "She came back in the best shape she's ever been physically, and mentally she gave up on herself.

"I think she really questioned herself a lot and I don't mean any disrespect, but I do think that is a result from our fight."

While Holm seeks focus, a confident Correia, 30, told flocombat.com this week that she believes she can even beat Holm in a boxing match.

Holm relishes the challenge, saying: "I want her to come with her best game.

"I don't want to take fighters on when they feel like they're not ready; I want to take her on when she feels most prepared because I know I'll be fighting them at their best."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2017, with the headline 'Holm aiming for S'pore victory'. Print Edition | Subscribe