Holly Holm has admitted in an interview with ESPN to having "a slight fear" of having to face Featherweight Champion Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino in the main event at UFC 219 on Saturday night. While the former Bantamweight Champion also expressed confidence in her own ability to overcome her most difficult opponent yet in the Octagon, she said that she needed to be wary of her and try her utmost to avoid the Brazilian's punches at all cost.
"I know that she is a very difficult opponent."
"This will not be a stroll in the park for me on Saturday night like the way I finished Ronda Rousey or Bethe Correia."
"I have seen videos of "Cyborg" in action in the Octagon and she is very dangerous indeed. I don't know, but her hands seem to be made of iron or something because even in my boxing career I have never encountered a woman who can punch like that. Not even Anne Sophie Mathis - the Frenchwoman who is the only boxer to knock me out."
She went on:
"I have spoken to Gina Carano whose career "Cyborg" ended in devastating fashion back in 2009 and she told me that it would best if I don't give her any space to swing her arms at all because that could be potentially detrimental to me. So I will be using some of the skills which I have learnt over the years in my career as a boxer to great effect and try to bob and weave my head away from her fists and counter-punch her and also land some of my devastating kicks on her. But I must confess that I do have a slight fear going into the fight for obvious reasons but also for other reasons."
Questioned further about the "other reasons," Holm gave a somewhat uncharacteristic response which sounded more like a cheap shot at her opponent.
"Have you seen her face? Geez. Which normal woman wouldn't be afraid?"