'Preacher's Daughter' who defeated UCF's Ronda Rousey, reads her Bible when she's not slugging it out in the ring

by Lee Warren, Newswriter |
Raquel Pennington (red gloves) and Holly Holm (blue gloves) during their women's bantamweight bout at UFC 184 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. | Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

LAS VEGAS (Christian Examiner) – The much anticipated rematch between UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm, whose nickname is "The Preacher's Daughter," and former champion Ronda Rousey has been targeted for UFC 200 on July 9, 2016 in Las Vegas, according to the LA Times.

I feel like I feel better about myself and life and my relationship with God if I go [to church]. I feel more connected.

Holm (10-1) stunned Rousey (12-1), and the sports world, Nov. 14 with a second-round knockout at UFC 193 in Australia. Holm had been hoping to fight Miesha Tate, the number one contender, before the rematch with Rousey took place, but the UFC had other ideas – apparently wanting to take advantage of the much anticipated rematch, but needing to give Rousey time to heal.

Last month the UFC suspended Rousey for 180 days, pending further examination, because of the head injury she suffered during the fight with Holm, according to the Sporting News.

Meanwhile, Holm has been busy making the talk show rounds since winning the title, handling her interviews with grace when talking about the dethroned champion, but to hear her talk, she would be more comfortable in church. Her dad, Roger Holm, is a preacher.

"I went to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night," she told the Albuquerque Journal in 2012. "We grew up living in a house owned by the church ... We had potlucks all the time, and I was like a babysitter for a lot of the members of the church. I always had to be on time for services and help out with the nursery ... I couldn't be a very selfish kid."

The soft-spoken 34-year-old MMA champion, who had an incredible boxing career before coming to MMA – going 33-2-3 and winning numerous belts, attended a victory celebration in her honor in Albuquerque, her home town, in early December. She grew emotional when crediting the support of the city, in part, to her success.

In an expression of both her love for Albuquerque and of her faith, Holm is currently raising support and awareness for the Albuquerque Christian Children's Home.

"For over 45 years, ACCH has been serving the Albuquerque community by providing long-term foster care to children," she wrote on Facebook recently. "Most of the children at ACCH come from crisis situations. They live with houseparents and participate in church activities and attend Bible study classes."

To complete the Albuquerque connection, before her fight with Rousey, she received a motivational text from former UFC light-heavyweight champion, Jon Jones – who fights out of Albuquerque – that contained a Bible verse.

Holm is relatable in so many ways. She visits Starbucks with her Bible. She eats junk food when she's not in training (fries are her downfall, she says). She drinks diet soda. She vegges out in front of TV watching "Family Feud." She also bakes, does crafts, quilts and sews.

"But I much prefer, if I have the time for that, to go to church. I feel really not focused and detached if I don't go to church," she says. "I feel like I feel better about myself and life and my relationship with God if I go. I feel more connected. I try to go every Sunday morning, but there's times that I just can't. And then sometimes I get a little irritated with myself because I'm like, 'Really, Holly? God sacrifices and has you in mind all day, every day. One hour (is all it takes).' ... I'm very blessed — how can I not want to give back one day, one hour even?"