FORMER world champion Ana Julaton finds Holly Holm’s stunning victory over Ronda Rousey a big inspiration heading to his fight against Russian Irina Mazepa in the ONE Championship card this weekend at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The 35-year-old Julaton said she can easily relate to Holm, having fought first as a boxer where she once reigned as International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion, before later shifting to mixed martial arts.
Holm, 34, is a former boxing welterweight champion who pulled off one of the most stunning upsets in MMA history when she beat the Rousey in the second round of the UFC 193 women’s bantamweight title fight.
“I think it inspires me more. She’s also a fellow boxer, a former world champion,” said Julaton, who once fought in the undercard of a Holm fight.
“It’s nice to see her strive. It’s pretty neat to have that kind of a little bit of history and see her succeed.”
Julaton is in her fourth bout as an MMA fighter and will be facing Mazepa in a duel that was one year in the making after the Russian pulled out of their first scheduled match in Dubai last year due to injury.
‘The Hurricane’ said MMA is a competitive sport, which can ‘give you the world, but is also unforgiving.’
She said women fighters like her can only thank Rousey for raising the profile of the sport.
“Obviously, there wouldn’t be any women MMA exposure without her, so she’s done a lot for the sport,” said Julaton of Rousey. “Hopefully she has the right people, and if she wants to come back, I’m sure she’ll come back strong. The best of luck for her.”