The world of combat sports has birthed some of the most fearless and inspirational women on this planet.
In a largely male-dominated sport, women have continuously chipped away at the glass ceiling over the years, until eventually, shards were scattered everywhere.
One of the leading names in this industry is the iconic Holly Holm.
Thanks to an aerobics instructor who spotted Holm’s potential when she was 16, she started training as a boxer and kickboxer in the lead up to what would become a glittering career inside the ring.
Before The Preacher’s Daughter made the switch to mixed martial arts in 2011, she dominated the boxing world.
In 38 professional bouts, Holm boasted a record of 33 wins, three draws, and two losses.
She clinched show-stopping victories against tough opponents like Belinda Laracuente and Duda Yankovich, to climb the ladder into the spotlight.
Holm entered the ring against an unbeaten Yankovich in 2009 and punished the Brazilian for four rounds. Holm was handed the TKO victory after her bloodied opponent threw in the towel.
Across these iconic matches, the southpaw established herself as one of the best in the welterweight division, winning the WBF Female World Light Welterweight and World Welterweight titles.
Holm’s eight-year career is earmarked by many within the industry as an iconic era, and BoxRec ranked her as the best female professional boxer of all time in 2020. She has since dropped to second in these ratings — but holding such a status despite being inactive for a decade is still a remarkable achievement.
The US star was also recently inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, joining just five other women to have been given such status.
“I’m sure I’ll have more to say going forward as I am a little lost for words,” Holm posted on her Instagram in response to her induction. “I am truly humbled and so honoured to be acknowledged with the greats of boxing.
“I couldn’t chase my dreams without such a strong support system. From my coaches, family, friends, management, teammates and fans. I am forever grateful and also even more motivated to achieve so much more in my life.
“I love combat sports as it will always be a part of who I am. It’s in my blood and I love it! From the bottom of my heart-Thank you!!!!”
The Preacher’s Daughter has since established herself as a leading figure in the world of MMA. She is currently competing in the UFC and is the previous holder of the Women’s Bantamweight Championship.
Holm’s highest-profile UFC fight to date came against combat sports legend Ronda Rousey at UFC 193 in 2015. In front of a record crowd, Holm emerged victorious, handing Rowdy her first ever loss in the promotion and sending her to hospital for good measure.
Former two-time UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones waxed lyrical about Holm after her win over Rousey sent shockwaves throughout the sport.
“In my opinion @_hollyholm is already the goat [greatest of all time] of women combat sports,” he wrote on his Instagram.
“She is the long time pride of Albuquerque, New Mexico not only because the way she competes, but the way she treats each and every individual that has the opportunity of meeting her.”
As of 2021, Holm’s successful career has given her a reported net worth of $5 million (£3.7m).