“I’m not retired!” Holly Holm is frustrated with fans shunting retirement rumors due to a long medical lay off

Holly Holm channels her frustrations about retirement after a long layoff of 19 months due to medical reasons is ready to come back at the age of 40.

Holly Holm
Holly Holm

When Holly Holm returns in May, it will have been almost 19 months since her last appearance in the UFC. Following a dominant win over Irene Aldana in October 2020, the one-time UFC bantamweight champion appeared on the cusp of title contention yet again but then the bottom fell out on her after she was diagnosed with hydronephrosis — a disorder that causes swelling in the kidneys, which can lead to severe pain, nausea, fever, and urinary issues.

I’m definitely super frustrated, especially when people are like ‘are you retired?’” Holm said. “I’m like no! Not retired! But I can see them may be thinking that because they haven’t seen me fight. I want to show them what I’ve got and especially because of my last fight, I got to show even more of my game than what had been seen before. I get excited cause I want to show more and show more and I keep running into these barriers. It’s definitely frustrating.

“I had to have surgery. It was a piece of bone fragment floating around up there. They had to clean up a few things but I did have to have surgery. But we’re up and we’re cranking and we’re pushing forward.”

“I’ve been beating up my body for a while” Holly Holm offers some thoughts on her future

Holly Holm
Holly “Hottie” Holm

During her time off, Holly Holm also celebrated her 40th birthday and that’s usually a significant number because combat sports athletes rarely get better as they get older. While shining examples like Glover Teixeira and Randy Couture exist when it comes to fighters past 40 becoming UFC champions, the list is rather short compared to those who were never able to climb back up to the top of the mountain past 40.

In her case, Holly Holm doesn’t even factor age into her decision-making because she legitimately put on one of her strongest performances to date with the win over Aldana and she’s expecting similar results for her next fight in May against Ketlen Vieira.

Holly Holm continued about her fight with age as she said“I know people that at 25 aren’t as healthy as people at 40,” Holm said. “I think it’s all how you take care of your body. Yes, I’ve been beating up my body for a while and I’ve had a few injuries here and there. My kidney thing, that’s not even an injury. That’s just another wrench to throw on the engine. But what’s awesome, I didn’t realize how much I was dealing with before that was fixed. Now that’s great. “I’ve been dealing with that for fights over and over so some of that stuff is actually helping me be healthier and be better at 40.”

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