Holly Holm hasn’t given up on her quest to regain UFC gold, and she or he’s assured beating Irene Aldana of their upcoming headliner may arrange one other title shot.

Holm (13-5 MMA, 6-5 UFC) has been caught up in some backlash for the variety of championship alternatives she’s acquired since shedding the ladies’s bantamweight title in March 2016 after successful it with an all-time knockout of Ronda Rousey at UFC 193. She’s fought in three title bouts throughout two divisions, along with her most up-to-date probability being a first-round TKO loss to Amanda Nunes in July 2019 at UFC 239.

She’s since rebounded with a unanimous resolution win over Raquel Pennington at UFC 246 in January, and now Holm, No. 7 within the newest USA TODAY Sports activities/MMA Junkie ladies’s bantamweight rankings, is ready to battle No. 5 Aldana in a major occasion spot Aug. 1 on the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. If she will be able to win that, Holm stated she “may positively be subsequent in line for the belt,” regardless of what critics would possibly assume.

“I’ve fallen wanting getting that title again greater than as soon as, and it’s irritating, however I do know I preserve combating the very top-ranked women, so I’m consistently proper there,” Holm instructed MMA Junkie. “I’m nonetheless aching for it. I nonetheless need it. That’s loads to say. Some individuals say, ‘Oh, I would like the belt’ then they don’t actually give it some thought. I do know precisely how a lot work that takes to get there, and I do know it took an enormous dedication.

“You’ve acquired to win fights alongside the way in which and when it comes, I can’t let the chance slip by means of my fingers once more. Clearly it’s proper there. I do know individuals say, ‘Oh, she’s had loads of title fights.’ There’s a cause: As a result of I preserve combating the perfect, and I preserve staying proper there. Lots of instances I’m only one battle away. It doesn’t matter what, I’ve Irene Aldana in entrance of me.”

Holm’s unique title run was comparatively temporary. She shocked the world and knocked out Rousey in November 2015, then circled 4 months later and succumbed to a shocking comeback-from-behind submission to Miesha Tate to drop the title. The possibilities to get it again haven’t gone her manner, however that title was valuable to Holm within the time she had it, and she or he received’t cease attempting to climb again to the highest.

Though there are many perks that include being a UFC champion, reminiscent of better pay and notoriety, Holm stated her causes are purely egocentric.

“It’s simply understanding I’m No. 1,” Holm stated. “It’s not essentially the popularity to different individuals; it’s not attempting to show different individuals unsuitable. I labored so arduous that I wish to beat the perfect in order that I will be the perfect. That’s it. When you might have the belt on you, which means you beat the perfect, and that’s what I would like. I wish to be No. 1.”

If Holm desires to be in that title spot anytime quickly, then successful in opposition to Aldana is a should. It received’t be simple, particularly with the Mexican boxing stylist coming off a vicious knockout of the beforehand unbeaten Ketlen Vieira at UFC 245 in December.

“My purpose is simply to be clearer, stronger, sharper, and extra nicely rounded,” Holm stated. “I wish to do all of that. I do know she’s coming. She’s acquired plenty of motion; she’s acquired lengthy punches and lengthy arms. She’s one of many taller bantamweights. Each fighter brings their very own strengths, and my job is simply to be higher at any of these issues, and that’s what I’m attempting to do.”