Ahead of their long-awaited battle at UFC 219, Holly Holm and Cris “Cyborg” Justino expressed confidence regarding what could be the greatest contest of their careers.
“I never think [to myself] that I am the champion,” Justino told FootandFist.com during a telephone press conference Thursday. “I never stopped training. I trained like the number one contender,”
“Cyborg” intimated she remains motivated.
“I like to do it; I like training hard,” she said.
Justino also spoke about her Muay Thai career and said she was open to taking a professional boxing match. She was recently called out by boxer Cecilia Braekhus.
“Why not?” she said.
Holm said she supported the idea of the UFC promoting their own boxing matches, an idea that has garnered mixed reactions, but that she was no longer interested in boxing herself.
“I think it would be great if they promoted boxing and brought attention to boxing,” she said. “If they start promoting boxing it will bring a lot of attention to boxing fights. I don’t have any desire to box anymore. My heart is in MMA now.”
When asked about the threat “Cyborg” posed to her, Holm was realistic.
“She’s strong, she’s aggressive, she’s a bigger fighter than me,” she said. “She trains hard, I know she does. She imposes her will on people. I’m a different fighter, though, and I know this will be a different fight the 30th.”
She also denied she would have a significant advantage in the late rounds.
“I know that she’s going to be fighting hard all the way through and be aggressive and in my face all the way through,” she said. “So I don’t sit here and just think if I make it through two rounds I’m good to go. I’m ready for five rounds of a hard fight.”
When asked what she would do after this bout, Holm was indecisive.
“You can’t really plan out your future,” she said. “If you look back at where you were five years ago, I’m sure you probably wouldn’t think of everything that happened over the past five years. It probably wouldn’t go how you thought it would.”
UFC 219: Cyborg vs. Holm takes place Saturday, Dec. 30 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Featured image via MMAJunkie.com.
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