Holly Holm has revealed that she will not be letting her guard down when she faces Valentina Shevchenko in the main event of UFC on FOX 20 on Saturday.
Holm lost her women’s bantamweight title in her last fight against Miesha Tate at UFC 196 in March as she was made to submit in the fifth round.
Shevchenko will also be looking to bounce back as she was beaten by reigning women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes at the same event.
With both fighters looking to turn their fortunes around, Holm admitted that she will be pushed to her limits.
“Her Muay Thai background, I think, actually has more fights than my boxing background has and she has a couple more fights than me in her MMA career so she’s definitely a seasoned athlete and I know what I’m facing,” Holm told reporters. “I know that I have my hands full with her and I know that I have a very tough opponent in front of me.”
After losing to Tate, Holm wanted an immediate rematch, but was snubbed in favour of Nunes, who went on to beat Tate via submission in the first round of their bout at UFC 200 on July 9.
Holm is still determined to regain the title that was taken away from her, but the 34-year-old insisted that she is solely focused on beating Shevchenko at the moment.
“I just want to get through Saturday night because I can’t be looking past my opponent,” she said. “I don’t want to think too far ahead because you’re never promised another day, you’re never promised another opportunity and I feel like I need to definitely perform on Saturday before anything else is even offered to me. Just Saturday is all I’m thinking about.”